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Rolls-Royce returns to coachbuilding roots

Having started in coachbuilding, Roll-Royce revives the art more than 100 years on

31 May 2021

ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars has announced it is returning to coachbuilding and it has done so in style with the reveal of the Boat Tail; a bespoke cabriolet created for just three of the brand’s “most special clients”.


According to chief executive officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the move back to coachbuilding is ultimately an extension of the brand’s Bespoke customisation program, offering its better-off customers the opportunity to create the car of their dreams, down to virtually every detail.


“The ability to personalise almost every aspect of their motor car is one of the main reasons our patrons come to us,” he said.


“But we know some wish to go further still. In 2017, we stunned the world with our first fully coachbuilt motor car of the modern era, the spectacular Rolls-Royce Sweptail.


“We have formally re-established our Coachbuild department for those patrons who wish to go beyond the existing restraints, and explore the almost limitless possibilities this opens up for them.”


That last point is clear to see with the Boat Tail and the clients who commissioned it who wanted their vehicle to draw on styling cues from both the past and present and tie them in with their own vision of nautical style.


“We are able to offer our customers the opportunity to create a motor car in which every single element is hand-built to their precise individual requirements, as befits our status as a true luxury house,” Mr Müller-Ötvös


“Rolls-Royce Coachbuild clients are intimately and personally involved at each step of the creative and engineering process.


“We work in harmony with the client to gain complete fluency in the nuances of their character and personality.


“We carefully translate these qualities into the elements with which they wish to imbue their commission.”


A return to coachbuilding was previewed back in 2017 when Rolls-Royce debuted the Sweptail, a custom two-seater coupe flaunting a panoramic glass roof commissioned privately four years earlier in 2013.


With the Coachbuild department now online, head of design Alex Innes said it provided freedom for clients to move “beyond the usual (design) constraints”.


“Normally, there is a natural ceiling to Rolls-Royce Bespoke by way of the canvas,” he said.


“At Rolls-Royce Coachbuild we break through that ceiling, embracing the freedom of expression afforded by coachbuilding to shape a concept directly with our commissioning patrons.

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