Rolls Royce are famed for their luxury vehicles and to own any one of their new releases would be the ultimate dream of many a car enthusiast.
However, simply snapping up an ‘off-the-peg’ design wasn’t enough for one wealthy petrolhead – and the result is what’s believed to be the most expensive new car ever made.
It all started when Rolls Royce whipped the cover off the 103EX, which was what the brand called a ‘Vision Vehicle’. It promised a new era of personal luxury and invited customers to come forward and request their own bespoke touches for each individual commission.
One particular customer – who hasn’t been named, but was described as a gentleman collector of “distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private aircraft” – took Rolls up on their challenge. He approached its designers with his idea of a two-seater harking back to the classic early days of motoring, but with all the mod cons you’d expect from the here and now – and more.
Rolls Royce Sweptail
It took some time to bring his vision to fruition, but the result has finally been unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza motor show on the banks of Lake Como in Italy. It’s called the Sweptail and if you haven’t seen it, take a look at the video below because you’re sure to be wowed.
The design features a new treatment of the iconic Pantheon grille at the front, creating a bullish yet classic profile. As the lines flow along the side of the car, the roofline overshoots the boot edge to emphasise length, while the rear is raked and tapered to evoke the feel of a classic yacht.
It took into account classic Rolls Royce models from the past, including the 1925 Phantom I and the 1934 Park Ward for maximum drama and elegance. However, this car is truly distinctive.
The result is what looks like a royal or presidential vehicle from the front, the spirit of a muscle car like the Dodge Charger from the side and a full-on futuristic vision of a sports car from the back. In case you were wondering, the name comes from the ‘swept tail’ look of the vintage Rolls Royces from the 1920s and 1930s.
Its owner added some James Bond-esque designer touches too, like the incredibly complex uninterrupted glass roof that floods the cabin with natural light. There’s even an electronically-deployed hidden pannier for his laptop (so it doesn’t get bashed around with other luggage) and a console that will move forward to provide a bottle of vintage champagne and two flutes in which to enjoy it – obviously not while in the driving seat, though.
The most expensive new car ever
Director of design at Rolls Royce Giles Taylor called the most expensive new car ever believed to have been built the equivalent of haute couture clothing for fashion lovers.
“It is a Rolls Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came with an idea, shared in the creative process where we advised him on his cloth, and then we tailored that cloth to him. You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by,” he added.
Chief executive of the brand Torsten Muller-Otvos said Sweptail has already claimed its place among the great intercontinental touring motors and puts Rolls “at the pinnacle of coachbuilding”.
There’s obviously no official word on what the car cost its new owner, but it’s safe to say there must have been quite a few zeros attached to such a designer model – and that it would be completely out of the price range of most mere mortals.
Still, we can at least dream. So, if money were no object, what kind of Rolls Royce would you design? What gadgetry would be at the helm on your console and what look would you like to project as you cruise along? We’d love to hear your ideas, so let us know in the comments down below.