This is a hypercar with a distinctive rear end that mimics a J-class yacht’s hull. I am talking about a bold and imposing two-door, four-seat grand tourer, boasting a length of about 5900mm with a removable ‘canopy’ roof. Three examples have been hand-built, heavily customized to the desires of their buyers, who were involved throughout the entire design process. Working hand-in-hand with Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Design boss Alex Innes, he called the creation of the Boat Tail “a unique collaboration” between Rolls-Royce and its clients.
In his remarks, he highlighted that “The clients were empowering and encouraging for us to project our future of the brand, and I can stand proudly and say that this is our car; this is the car that we wanted it to be.” Innes went on to say that the Boat Tail showcases the refinement of Rolls-Royce’s ‘post-opulent’ design trend, which began with the Mk2 Ghost last year.
“The clients established at the very beginning that they wanted to create something they had never seen before,” Innes said. “They appreciated the hallmarks of Rolls-Royce design and encouraged us to move beyond the familiar traits that we see today and design something that points towards the future.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce boss, said the project has led to the expansion of Goodwood’s bespoke commissioning service into a full Coachbuild division that will henceforth become a core part of its business plan. “Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is the return to the very roots of our brand,” Müller-Ötvös said. “It represents an opportunity for a select few to participate in the creation of utterly unique and truly personal commissions of future historical significance.”
The Boat Tail has echoes of the Sweptail, a one-off coupé unveiled in 2017. Innes revealed that this prompted a surge in interest from buyers in coachbuilding and served as the starting point for the Boat Tail’s four-year design and development process. Let take a look at some of its features.
The Luxurious Interior
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It’s hand-finished in their favorite color and the rear deck contains a full ‘hosting suite’ that automatically opens to the ‘ideal’ serving angle of 15deg. It features two full fridges, including one for the client’s preferred Armand de Brignac champagne and cutlery and crockery set custom-made by Christofle.
The Suite also includes two carbon fiber stools created in association with Italian firm Promemoria to sit beneath a distinctive parasol that extends from the rear deck. At the front of the cabin is a minimalist dashboard that was custom-designed to fit the tastes of the client, with pared-back use of switchgear and much of the modern technology hidden. The centerpiece is a unique clock fitting in which two timepieces from Swiss watchmaker Bovey can be placed. These watches had to be extensively re-engineered to ensure that they would work when placed in the car.
The signature Styling
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When uninhibited imagination and unlimited money collide there’s bound to be a display of genius. As subjective as its looks maybe, the Boat Tail uses traditional methods wherever possible just like crafting the body which started with a clay model whose design is then transferred to a buck on which aluminum body panels are then hammer-formed by hand. The resulting design measures 228 inches in length, making the Boat Tail longer than any other car on the road.
Most of the length is taken up by the rear section, where most of the nautical references can be found. A wooden deck is used as a nod to boat tails built early last century, but at the press of a button, the two halves of the deck flip open, revealing what Rolls-Royce refers to as a hosting suite. This is just a chest filled with items to add a little glamour to a roadside picnic, such as a refrigerator, champagne flutes, a set of cocktail tables, and fold-out chairs that Rolls-Royce notes “elegantly rotate to mimic the offering of an attendant.”
And yes, there is an umbrella that pops up and out of the rear decklid, though there’s no word on if the conventional Rolls-Royce umbrella is still slotted in the door of the Boat Tail. It’s one of the most whimsical machines we’ve seen in a long time.
The Boat Tail uses Rolls-Royce’s new Architecture of Luxury platform and the 563bhp 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine from the Phantom to propel this elegant masterpiece.
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