Rolls-Royce has used Italy’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to unveil a truly-bespoke one-off car commissioned as a tribute to so-called swept-tail Rolls-Royces of the 1920s.
Estimates put the price of the one-off, entirely handcrafted two-seater coupe at between £10-£12 million (A$17.2-$20.6 million) making it the most expensive new car ever commissioned, with the consultation and design process beginning in 2013.
So what does a wholly unique Rolls-Royce include? As expected attention to detail is paramount, with a range of features designed around the Sweptail customer’s requests.
From the outside the Sweptail presents the largest version of Rolls-Royce’ Pantheon grille fitted to modern era car, milled from one piece of solid aluminium and hand-polished to a mirror-finish.
The Sweptail’s flowing two-door cabin is topped by a panoramic glass roof, another must-have at the request of the unnamed customer, while the rear reflects the buyer’s passion for racing yachts with a ‘raked stern’ detail capping the sweeping volume of the elongated rear.
Details are even more fastidious inside with the minimalist interior again modelled to reflect the world of yachting with the signature detail being the rear shelf in place of rear seats, finished in highly polished wood, underscored by a glass lip, and inlaid with polished luggage rails.
The two-seat cabin itself is a deliberate choice to invoke the ‘romance of travel’ with Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao complimenting Moccasin and Dark Spice leathers for a carefully balanced two tone interior.
All switchgear has been removed from the line of sight to maintain the minimalist aesthetic, with only the clock face remaining, which itself is made from a painstakingly thin veneer of Macassar, detailed so finely as to allow light to pass through it for the hour markers, making it otherwise invisible except for its titanium hands.
Titanium also adorns the hand-assembled three-gauge instrument cluster with hands and numerals machined from the metal.
Behind the coach door openings are two leather-trimmed, carbon fibre-framed panniers, each containing a bespoke matching attaché cases designed to exactly suit the owner’s laptop (here’s hoping he never upgrades his computer). Matching bespoke luggage is also house in the timber-lined boot which continues the detailing of the rear interior shelf
If that’s not enough, at the push of a button the specially-prepared centre console will raise a chilled bottle of champagne and two crystal flutes, ready to be enjoyed after what we can only imagine must be a luxuriant day behind the wheel.
There’s been no official mention of the Sweptail’s mechanical package (how uncouth!) but there’s a solid chance that a version of the Phantom’s 6.75-litre V12 engine will be doing the heavy lifting.
With a list of inspirational Rolls-Royce vehicles from the 1920s and 1930s as inspiration for the rather confronting Sweptail at the owner's request, don’t expect to see many of the design details make their way to either the next-generation Phantom, or Project Cullinan ‘high sided vehicle’, leaving this machine as a true one-off creation.