Rolls-Royce unveils Boat Tail – as it announces new custom service

Luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce is set to make bespoke coachbuilding a permanent fixture of its future portfolio, revealing the first of three exclusive commissions from clients.

After dipping its toes into the world of custom-car creation with 2017’s standalone Rolls-Royce Sweptail, the car-maker has announced the creation of a separate division to make bespoke cars from ‘truly personal commissions’ for wealthy buyers.

The luxury process is called ‘coachbuilding’ and it involves the use of a donor chassis on which a unique body and interior is built.

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It is a method of production which brings the Goodwood-based car-maker back to its early twentieth century roots, before the dawn of automised industry.

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Now, Rolls-Royce claims it is offering wealthy customers a chance to participate in that history: “Only the House of Rolls-Royce can offer its Coachbuild clients the inimitable opportunity to commission a product of future historical significance, that is as fundamentally unique as they are – and then participate in every detail of its creation.”

Boat Tail

Alongside the announcement, the West Sussex manufacturer has unveiled the first of three cars, ‘Boat Tail’, which has been specially commissioned and designed over four years.

Clients got the chance to personally involve themselves with the design process, leaving their stamp on a vehicle which, Rolls-Royce claims, reflects the nuances of their character and personality.

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The first of those three cars was unveiled yesterday (March 26), and the machine, which has a nautical theme, features a particular focus on al-fresco dining. At the press of the button, the rear deck opens to reveal an intricate hosting suite, complete with a built-in double refrigerator and cocktail tables.

Rolls-Royce said the machine is ‘a curation of exceptional thoughts, concepts and items, which culminate to form the clients’ perfect experience’.

A spokesperson added: “The commissioning patrons, a globally successful couple who are highly proficient in the appointment of Rolls-Royces, truly personify connoisseurship; their luxury curation is an artform in itself. Their proposition was purposefully self-indulgent. Their desire was to create a response to a life of hard work, success achieved, and celebration required. Their Rolls-Royce Boat Tail should be joyful, a celebratory car to enjoy with their family.

“Together, with the marque’s designers, they embarked on an intellectual journey, founded on a long-standing and creative relationship with the brand. Indeed, the clients’ fascination of the Boat Tail form was furthered by a motor car in their private collection; a 1932 Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, lovingly restored, by them, in time for their modern Boat Tail’s completion.

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“Rolls-Royce Boat Tail presents a wonderful new aesthetic for the marque, balancing previously unseen levels of sculpture with discrete, sometimes playful functionality. The creation tells the romantic tale of Rolls-Royce’s history, echoing a Boat Tail design but not explicitly mimicking it, fusing an historical body type with a thoroughly contemporary design.”

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive at Rolls-Royce, said: “We have created a trio of exceptional cars which, although they share a common body style, are each imbued with the unique, highly personal imprint of the commissioning patron, thereby telling differing stories. Boat Tail is unprecedented. Boat Tail is a distinct counterpoint to industrialised luxury.

“Boat Tail is the culmination of collaboration, ambition, endeavour, and time. It was born from a desire to celebrate success and create a lasting legacy. In its remarkable realisation, Rolls-Royce Boat Tail forges a pivotal moment in our marque’s history and in the contemporary luxury landscape.”