Dezeen Magazine

Rolls-Royce unveils bespoke Sweptail car worth $13 million

Car brand Rolls-Royce has created a one-off motorcar based on its vintage models, which has reportedly sold for an eight-figure sum.

The Sweptail, unveiled at the Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa d'Este car event in Lake Como, was commissioned by a private client, who came to the company with an idea for a one-off car inspired by Rolls-Royces from the 1920s.

While Rolls-Royce declined to provide any specific information on the client, they did reveal that he is a "connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private aircraft".

The company also declined to confirm its exact value, but reports have priced the Sweptail at between $12,800,000 and $13,000,000.

"Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of haute couture," said Giles Taylor, director of design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "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."

Working alongside the client, Taylor's design team developed a car that looked back to the coach-built Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s, while also incorporating secret compartments to store the client's belongings and favourite luxury items.

The two-seater coupé features a large panoramic glass roof, offering expansive views of the surrounding landscape, as well as details inspired by classic and modern yachts.

Its bodywork is designed to look seamless, with the underside of the car sweeping upwards at its rear – creating a rounded "tail" that gives the Sweptail its name.

Rolls-Royce's iconic grille has also been included in the design in a milled aluminium, with the company claiming it to be the "largest grille of any modern-era Rolls".

Inside, the client wanted the two-seater vehicle to be minimal and modern. Polished Macassar Ebony and Paldao woods are combined with light and dark leathers, and secret compartments are used to disguise the client's favourite items.

At the touch of a button, his personalised briefcase is deployed from the side panel of the car, while a second button on the centre console reveals a bottle of the his favourite vintage champagne and two crystal champagne flutes.

When presenting the car at the three-day event in Italy, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös described the Sweptail as a "truly magnificent car" that proves the company's commitment to its clients.

"Sweptail is proof, today, that Rolls-Royce is at the pinnacle of coachbuilding," he said. "We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces".

The Rolls-Royce brand was founded in the UK in 1906, and was known for its hand-built bespoke and luxury car designs, often used for driving dignitaries and royals.

It has been owned by German manufacturer BMW since 2003, after a complex deal was hammered out between Volkswagen and BMW over the assets of the company.

The company recently branched out into its first driverless concept car, which features a built-in red carpet and lighting system that announces its arrival to bystanders.