In 2017, Rolls-Royce built a $13 million one-off car for a wealthy client who wanted something unique and exclusive. Called the Sweptail, it was based on the underpinnings of the brand’s flagship Phantom Coupe, but had a unique body with an aeronautical, windswept design, featuring a hardtop roof flowing into a V-shaped rear windshield. Now, the venerable British ultra-luxury automaker has announced another similar, and similarly expensive, commission: the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. A nautically inspired four-seat convertible built on the stately Architecture of Luxury platform that underpins all of the brand’s current offerings, the Boat Tail takes seriously its connection to its exemplar.
The overall shape of the vehicle recalls that of a yacht: one elegant, windswept gesture that starts from a high prow and recedes into a tapered tail. A wrap-around front windshield harkens back to mid-20th century speedboats. The rear deck takes similar inspiration, covered in gray and black Caleidolegno wood veneer, like that of a Riva put through a stone washer.
It is under this rear platform that the Boat Tail houses its most incredible features. At the press of a button, the two sides of the deck open from the middle, like a butterfly’s wings, to reveal what Rolls refers to as “the Hosting Suite.” Packaged here, in individual sections, is the world’s most exquisite picnic set, featuring a pair of nesting Promemoria stools in the blue of the car’s interior, a matching umbrella, platinum-ringed porcelain plates, and engraved silver Christofle Parisian flatware. There is also a double champagne fridge and flutes for the clients’ favorite bubbly, and various climate-controlled bins for snacks like caviar. A piano-hinged cocktail table opens from either side of the suite, providing a place to rest all of the aforementioned items during an alfresco dining experience.
Three Boat Tails will be made in all, each specifically outfitted for the needs and tastes of their individual clients. In addition, the Boat Tail acts as the premier vehicle from a new Rolls-Royce department, Rolls-Royce Coachbuild, which will focus on creating unique-bodied vehicles for discerning customers. We look forward to seeing the next commissions.