At this year’s recent Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, Rolls Royce dropped sort of a bombshell. Being dubbed the most expensive new car in the history of the automobile, the Rolls Royce Sweptail obviously made headlines world wide. The Sweptail is a one-off car, designed for one customer who came to Rolls Royce with a vision of a car that evoked the spirit of coach-built Rolls’ from the 1920’s. Apparently, that owner wanted this car badly enough to drop $13 million on it, because that’s how much he paid for it, making it the most expensive new car in history.
Admittedly, it’s stunning. The entire car is a bespoke one-off, designed only for this one customer, who shall remain unnamed. It took years to create and is painstakingly detailed. “It is a Rolls-Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came to the House of Rolls-Royce 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.” said Giles Taylor, Director of Design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
At the front, the Sweptail wears the largest grille ever fitted to a Rolls. Which is remarkable, considering a standard Rolls Royce Grille looks large enough to swallow small rhinoceroses. However, this grille is simply massive and is flanked by two lonely circular headlights with little LED eyebrows. The face of the Sweptail is certainly different and can be a bit shocking at first. It’s also the least exciting part of the car, not because it’s ugly but because the rear is so stunning.
The way the panoramic roof comes to a point at the rear of the car and creates this wonderful racing yacht-hull look is breathtaking. The entire roof is covered in glass, even down to the trunk lid, creating this immense greenhouse. It’s something very different for Rolls Royce, which usually chooses to envelope its passengers, rather than expose them. According to Taylor, the panoramic glass roof is “one of the most complex ever seen on a motor car”. It might be the most interesting rear end on a car since the split-window Corvette.
Inside the Sweptail, the list of material names is so exotic it’s almost humorous. With things like Dark Ebony wood, ‘Dark Spice’ leather, Paldao wood and ‘Moccasin’ leather, the cabin of the Sweptail sounds like it was created from a 19th century English explorer’s trophy room. It looks like the cabin is based on the Phantom, which is getting quite old now, but it’s still gorgeous.
Below is a gallery of real-life photos of the Rolls Royce Sweptail from the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este. Love it or hate it, it’s a remarkable car and one worth really taking a look at. Enjoy.