Behind the wheel of the world’s most expensive car

The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail revives the golden age of classic cars, solely obeying the rules of bespoke and unbridled luxury. A masterpiece in design to be discovered with SoBARNES. .

It has no equal. Produced in just three models, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail could be compared to a 19-foot yacht on wheels, offering its four passengers a unique experience. That of absolute luxury, that naturally knows no reason.

In 2017, Rolls-Royce presented the Sweptail, a bespoke model designed for a client who wanted a car that combined the 30s style and classic yachting inspiration. A one-of-a-kind wonder, whose price was rumoured to exceed €10 million. The brand announced that several collectors subsequently approached it to take this concept one step further. A request, of course, that Rolls-Royce was more than happy to comply with! In fact, Rolls-Royce has gone back to its roots, to the days when chassis and motors were assembled separately, then the body grafted by coachbuilders based on the client’s tastes. That is the mission of the newly created Coachbuild department. To put it simply, it doesn't get more exclusive than this in the global automobile production market.

Among the brand’s ultra-rich clients (or “patrons”, as Rolls-Royce calls them), it emerged that three shared a deep appreciation of contemporary nautical design. These three aesthetes also shared a single demand: “Show me something that I have never seen before.” And so the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail was born, in three models only.

The yachting influence can be seen in the wrap-around windscreen, the two-tone paint all the way to the bumpers, and the wood veneer on the aft deck, slender like a mahogany dinghy. Below the rear deck is a champagne refrigerator and a picnic set featuring silverware, porcelain and crystal, naturally all custom-made for each of the three (lucky) commissioning clients. And what could be more chic than the telescopic parasol, the two cocktail tables and the fibre stools stowed in the boot? As a final nautical tribute, the roof is not just some run of the mill hood, but a canopy that is removed by hand, like the awning of a boat.

So what type of engine did Rolls-Royce choose to power the Boat Tail? We’ll never know. And frankly it doesn't matter. As for the price, it’s estimated at €23.5M. Which may seem steep for a car. But luxury has rarely pushed attention to detail to such limits: it was vital that the champagne be at the optimum serving temperature whatever the weather. Which is why a thermal control system was installed under the stern, tested with success from -20 to +80°C! What more is there to add?

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