One-off Rolls-Royce Sweptail is ‘probably the most expensive new car ever’

*NOW UPDATED WITH VIDEO* Rolls-Royce unveils the one-off, coachbuilt and eye-poppingly expensive Sweptail at Concorso d’Eleganza for a wealthy owner

Just when you think Rolls-Royce has nothing new up its sleeve, it produces a one-off creation for ‘one of its most valued customers with a very particular request’. That request – the new Sweptail and its distinctive rear-end – made its global debut at this past weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza concours festival in Villa d’Este, Italy.

The Sweptail project itself actually dates back to 2013, when My Moneybags approached Rolls-Royce with a view to designing a radical two-seater that pays tribute to the ‘Swept-tail’ look of many coachbuilt Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s. Entirely hand-made across two years, the base of the Sweptail is actually derived from the now defunct Rolls-Royce Phantom, although every other body panel is unique. The Phantom’s 6.7-litre V12 is also said to have made the jump, delivering a ‘sufficient’ 453bhp.

Dig a little deeper beneath the large panoramic glass roof and the tapering rear end and you find tributes to specific Rolls-Royces: the elongated flow of the roof is reminiscent, to connoisseurs at least, to the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon by Park Ward; the roofline and departure angle are throwbacks to the 1934 Park Ward 20/25 Limousine Coupé; and the ‘flamboyance and drama’ were inspired by 1925 Phantom I Round Door built by Jonckheere….

…there’s a crap load of Rolls-Royce heritage in there, is the point the marketing team would like to hammer across.

Other notable cosmetic talking points concern the front grille, the largest to have appeared on any modern era production Rolls-Royce and milled from solid aluminium. Then polished to within an inch of its existence. The Sweptail is also ‘the ultimate homage to the world of racing yachts’. See how the bodywork wraps itself underneath? That’s been intentionally designed to mimic a boat’s hull. The engraved ‘8’ at both the front and back meanwhile are registration marks, and is also considered the luckiest number in China. Just in case you were curious where this wealthy customer originates from.

Cost of development and build? Unknown, predictably, Rolls-Royce debunking rumours that the new Sweptail cost upwards of $10 million. Company execs were keen to point out though that the one-off was “substantially expensive”, and “probably the most expensive new car ever.” Basically, try not to scratch it…

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