Rolls-Royce has presented its latest one-off, Bespoke creation at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, christened ‘Sweptail’, in a nod to the swept-tail of Rolls-Royce vehicles from the 1920s.
Brought to life over a number of years, the Rolls-Royce Sweptail is an ultra-exclusive one-off model built at a customer’s request which the luxury brand calls the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture.
Presenting the car to the media at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este in Italy on the past weekend, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said, “Sweptail is a truly magnificent car. It exudes the romance of travel for its own sake, and immediately places ‘Sweptail’ in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers.
“Rolls-Royce’s history as the world’s leading coachbuilder is at the very core of its identity as the world’s leading luxury brand. The arrival of 103EX shone a light on the future of Rolls-Royce in this field, and ‘Sweptail’ is proof, today, that Rolls-Royce is at the pinnacle of coachbuilding.
“We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces. At the same time we are looking into the resources which will allow us to offer this unique service to these discerning patrons of luxury.”
Inspired by the coachbuilt Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s, the client’s desire was for a coachbuilt two seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof. As a connoisseur of Rolls-Royces, he was inspired by many of his favourite cars from the marque’s golden era of the early 20th Century including the 1925 Phantom I Round Door, the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon and the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon, as well as many classic and modern yachts.
The Sweptail’s front profile is centred on a new treatment of the iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille which is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. Moving around to the side of ‘Sweptail’ is the striking silhouette that defines its unique character, flowing into the ultimate homage to the world of racing yachts that inspired the client, with its raked stern.
Finishing off the rear of this one-off Rolls-Royce is its identifier and registration number, 08. Two individual digits milled from ingots of aluminium and hand polished.
The interior is ruled by a philosophy of simplicity and minimalism leading to a distillation of componentry and a purification of clutter. The value of beautiful materials takes precedence here, resulting in a fastidious suppression of switchgear to the absolute minimum to make way for the richest of materials applied in the most honest of fashions.
But the highlight of the cabin are two final surprise and delight features incorporated secretly inside Sweptail to the stringent standards of the client.
Concealed in the outboard walls on either side of the motor car, behind the opening of the coach doors, are two identical panniers. Each pannier, when activated, deploys forward to present the owner’s bespoke made attaché case which has been carefully packaged to exactly house his personal laptop device. The cases themselves have been hand-constructed from lightweight carbon fibre, wrapped in the finest leather that matches the interior of ‘Sweptail’ and detailed with machined aluminium and titanium clasps and locks.
These attaché cases are twinned with the full set of luggage also developed by Rolls-Royce Bespoke for ‘Sweptail’. The luggage resides in the trunk of the motor car, a trunk beautifully clad in the same wood as the hat shelf and inset with polished aluminium luggage rails.
This one-off masterpiece is as personal to the owner as every other feature of ‘Sweptail’. The entire centre console now houses a one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of the client’s favourite vintage champagne – the year of his birth – and two crystal champagne flutes. As the lid of the chiller opens, the mechanical action articulates the bottle to the perfect position for the owner to pick up.
The price of the Sweptail has not been disclosed, however Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos was quoted as saying “this is probably the most expensive new car ever.”