Rolls-Royce just took the wraps off its latest bespoke creation known as the Boat Tail, a commission that required the creation of 1,813 completely new parts—just to make this vision come to life!
The arrival of the Boat Tail coincides with Rolls-Royce’s decision to create a distinct department within the company known as Rolls-Royce Coachbuild, allowing customers to go far beyond the usual customization of a vehicle and build something that tells a story unique to the owner. The program comes to fruition following the debut of the 2017 Sweptail, which ignited interest in the automaker’s abilities as a coachbuilder.
The process of building based on the desires of the client is intensive. After the body is designed, the coachbuilding team builds a full-scale clay model, allowing them to hone the exterior design by hand as needed. They then digitally remaster the model, which allows them to create the buck they use to hammer-form the aluminum body panels.
The owners of this historic first has an appreciation for contemporary nautical design. The body is finished in a pretty, alluring blue, with metallic and crystal flakes embedded in the paint to make the colour pop in the sun. Glance further into the Boat Tail, and Rolls-Royce Coachbuild continues to impress. Inside, there’s more deep-blue leather, with intense blue stitching and piping. The trim uses the same open-pore wood as the exterior, and many of the elements are at a 55-degree angle to emulate the spill of a boat’s wake.
The Boat Tail has nautical cues throughout, including a wrap-around windshield, the leaning A-pillar, and the “aft deck” at the rear of the vehicle. Another highlight is the Caleidolegno veneer on the wooden deck; the vehicle even looks sleek with the temporary canopy cover. Since this is a fixed-roof design rather than a convertible, the canopy is to be used whenever there’s precipitation while the roof is removed.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Boat Tail is hiding under that rear deck. At the press of a button, two panels lift like a butterfly’s wings to reveal the hosting suite. With a double champagne refrigerator, Christofle silver cutlery (engraved with “Boat Tail”), and porcelain plates with platinum rims, this is a showpiece that upstages the car as car. All these goodies are presented in a treasure chest, and there’s even a parasol on a telescoping arm to provide shade and protection from the elements.
Considering that a fun flourish of many Rolls-Royces is the umbrella stored in the doors, this parasol is a great way of stepping up a classic expectation. Naturally, the car also has storage for the Italian-made Promemoria stools, ensuring this is a fully thought-out patio on the go.
To accommodate this design, Rolls-Royce reconfigured its Architecture of Luxury aluminum spaceframe that underpins many of its vehicles. This process alone took eight months and was necessary to support the proportions of the Boat Tail. The fancy rear deck required five new electronic control units, a development that required nine months of research and development. These control units help maintain the temperature of the refrigerator and contents of the rear deck and have been tested from 80°C to -20°C.
To further commemorate the Boat Tail’s debut and the announcement of the Coachbuild program, Rolls-Royce also partnered with Bovet 1822 to create a pair of timepieces that will debut in a few weeks.
While the new Rolls-Royce Ghost has been described as post-opulent and calmly confident, Rolls-Royce is ensuring it has all corners of its market covered with this new Coachbuild program. If it results in more inspiring vehicles like the Boat Tail, colour us impressed.