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Rolls-Royce unveils one-off Sweptail

Swept away: The Rolls-Royce Sweptail features a distinctive rear end that was inspired by the stern of a yacht.

Ultra-exclusive Rolls-Royce Sweptail built as a nod to pre-WWII Phantoms

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Rolls-Royce logo29 May 2017

ROLLS-Royce has unveiled a one-off special edition coupe called the Sweptail, commissioned for one specific customer and inspired by Rolls-Royce designs of the 1920s and 1930s.

The British luxury car-maker said it was approached by “one of its most valued customers” in 2013, who is also a collector of private aircraft and super-yachts, and wanted Rolls-Royce to create him a one-off model unlike any other.

Ultimately the customer wanted a two-seat coupe with a large panoramic glass sunroof that took design inspiration from models such as the 1925 Phantom I Round Door, 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon and 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon.

The result is a coupe with a distinctive and unique design, in particular the rear end which features a horizontally tapered rear roofline that contracts into the boot, and has been shaped to represent the stern of a yacht.

From the front, the Sweptail can be immediately identified as a Rolls-Royce, with its boxy fascia, Spirit of Ecstasy emblem and Pantheon grille, which has been milled from solid aluminium and is the largest of any modern-era Rolls Royce.

The headlights have been redesigned into a two-part set-up that include a simple, horizontal LED strip and circular headlight, nestled into a gloss-black bezel.

In profile, the name ‘Sweptail” becomes apparent, with the long, liftback-style rear roofline flowing into the massive boot which hangs far behind the rear axle.

The boot is finished with a U-shaped rear bumper that further emphasises the yacht-inspired C-pillar and rear styling.

If the unique body style wasn’t enough, the Sweptail is identified by the number 08, which is emblazoned on the front and back of the vehicle.

Designers took a minimalist approach when designing the interior of the Sweptail, keeping switchgear to a minimum, and instead focusing on the quality of materials used in the cabin.

Polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao wood is used liberally throughout the cabin, including in the space where the rear seats would usually sit, which has been replaced by a mid-shelf with illuminated glass lip, as well as a hat shelf.

The only control to feature on the centre console is now a Rolls-Royce clock whose face is handmade of the thinnest Macassar veneer, meaning the clock is visually embedded into the fascia.

The veneer is so thin that illumination from behind can be used to display the hour marks, with the clock hands made from titanium.

In place of abundant switchgear, the Sweptail’s centre console hides a mechanism that can deploy a vintage bottle of champagne from the year of the customer’s birth and two crystal champagne flutes –just in case occupants get thirsty.

Concealed inside the outboard walls behind the opening of the doors are two panniers with leather-wrapped carbon-fibre laptop cases tailored specifically to the owner’s laptop specifications, that deploy out of the of the body of the car.

It is unknown whether the Sweptail employs the naturally aspirated 6.7-litre V12 from the Phantom, or the 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 that powers the rest of the Rolls-Royce range.

The price of the Sweptail has not been disclosed, however Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos was quoted as saying “this is probably the most expensive new car ever.”

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