The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is a coach-built convertible that makes the Phantom look like an economy car.
Normally, we’d talk about Rolls-Royce as an aspirational car that only the well heeled few can afford. After all, the hyper-luxe Phantom sedan isn’t exactly what you’d call cheap, at nearly half a million dollars. Now, that looks like an absolute bargain compared to this bespoke, coach-built Boat Tail — inspired by the Sweptail that earned the “most expensive car ever” title when the $13 million one-off emerged in 2017.
While Rolls-Royce does not disclose exactly how much each of these costs — plans are to build three of them — several reports state a mystery plutocrat commissioned this car to the tune of roughly $28.4 million (£20 million). For reference, you could buy a 55-strong fleet of Phantoms for that money. You could buy the mother of all BMW 7 Series 275 times over. Then again, Rolls-Royces always have a certain je ne sais quoi used to justify the eye-watering price tag. Not to mention the person who ordered this car also restored an original 1932 Rolls-Royce Boat Tail in time for the modern car’s completion.
There’s a lot going on under the hand-built aluminum body.
Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t plenty to talk about with the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. There’s definitely plenty of bonkers points that totally explain the multi-million dollar price of admission. Though it does ride on the ‘Architecture of Luxury’ aluminum spaceframe platform as the Phantom does, every single body panel on this car has changed. That unique rear shape is the key eye-drawing feature, as is this two-door’s massive 19-feet overall length. The butterfly doors shown above open to reveal the “hosting suite”, complete with carbon fiber stools and a parasol for that perfect car-side picnic.
While the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail has a carbon fiber fixed-canopy roof, the automaker does include a temporary tonneau cover — excuse me, “static transitory shelter” — if you get caught out while driving without the canopy in place. The client’s favorite color is blue (I approve), and as such this car is finished in various gradients from the wheels to the body and the interior appointments.
Under the Boat Tail’s hood is the same 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 you’d find in the Phantom. It still makes 563 horsepower, but that figure and a 0-60 time hardly matter when you’re talking about this sort of opulence. The only number that evidently mattered for the client was 1822, as in specially-crafted, his-and-hers reversible Bovet watches that can be inserted into the dashboard to become the car’s onboard clock.
As you’d expect, Rolls-Royce isn’t making any more than these three Boat Tail models. However, this does kick off a new era in hand-built cars, as the automaker says its Coachbuild division will become a “permanent fixture” of the brand’s portfolio.