Need some inspiration for purchasing a new set of wheels? Perhaps you’ll benefit from a peek at the latest one-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce creation: the Sweptail.
Rolls-Royce has always been all about the bespoke experience, and with Hong Kong having the highest number of Rolls-Royces per capita on the planet, it follows that we have some of the most unique, customised limousines of the marque roving around the city.
Just one year ago, Rolls-Royce created the 103EX, a space-age vision vehicle — the first time Rolls-Royce ever made one — with an experimental design to exhibit the marque’s know-how for custom built cars, where every Rolls-Royce can have every centimetre personalised to suit the owner.
Inspired and challenged by this debut, one unnamed client decided to approach Rolls-Royce in 2013 to create his own one-of-a-kind, two-seater coupé. Four years in the making, the finished product is now christened as the Sweptail, and is reportedly the most expensive new car ever commissioned, costing nearly US$13 million (approx. HK$101 million).
Unveiled last month at Concorso d’Eleganza at Lake Como’s Villa d’Este — the historic elegance competition for vintage and classic cars — the car’s design was inspired by the golden age of “swept tail” coaches built in the early 20th century, as well as by the world of yacht racing. From the front, you see a similar confident, dominating character of the current-generation Phantom, featuring the iconic Pantheon grille in hand-polished aluminium.
It’s then all party in the back, as the car tapers into a svelte silhouette, elegant yet with a dramatic roofline, accentuating the main feature of the vehicle, the panoramic glass skylight — reinventing the Rolls-Royce coupé in one elegant swoop. It tips off at the back with the unique registration number, “08.”
Incredibly spacious for a two-seater, the car features expansive windows for yet more sunlight to seep in, and the interior is kept uncluttered and minimalistic with tan leather and titanium detailing, as well as apparently the cleanest dashboard to date. Instead of rear seats, you’ll find a wooden mid-shelf — with an incorporated hat shelf — inset with luggage rails for weekend travels.
With such a custom-built Rolls, you can expect quite a few bespoke add-ons: on the outboard walls, hidden behind the coach doors are panniers, where at the press of a button, you can access a set of carbon-fibre briefcases designed specifically for the Sweptail.
The centre console, naturally, also has a cooler storing the owner’s favourite vintage champagne and two crystal champagne flutes. As one does, when one makes history by owning a HK$101 million car.
For those who are bigger fans of the classic Phantom instead, you’ll soon have a chance to glimpse the world’s eight greatest Phantoms throughout history — from its beginnings in 1925 to modern day — as they’re gathered for the exhibition of a lifetime, held in Mayfair, London on 27 July. First on the list to announce its attendance is The Fred Astaire Phantom 1, with more announcements to be made in the ensuing weeks. The exhibition will also unveil the Phantom’s newest eighth-generation model — so if you’re a stickler for one of the greatest cars ever designed, you know to book your tickets to the UK soon.