Rolls-Royce confirms return to bespoke coachbuilding

Rolls-Royce is making a return to coachbuilding, allowing customers to commission bespoke vehicles based on the firm’s platforms.

To promote the return of the service, the West Sussex-based company has revealed a new project called Boat Tail. The idea came from the classic coachbuilding technique of grafting boat hulls to Rolls-Royce chassis.

The model has been revealed to show what is possible using coachbuilding techniques and was designed over four years in collaboration with three of the company’s top clients. Three examples will be built, with each owner putting their own individual spin on it.

Rolls-Royce says it engineered 1,813 completely new parts in the creation of these cars and spent eight months developing the platform to take the new body work. Furthermore, the Bose sound system is bespoke, using the entire floor structure as resonance chambers for the bass speakers.

Photos: PA Media

The unique rear end also took a lot of work to get right and has five electronic control units alone. The process for developing the wiring took nine months and allowed the deck lids to open to exactly 67 degrees, incorporate a locking mechanism and a climate control system for any food or drink left inside.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO, said: “Today marks a seminal moment for the House of Rolls-Royce. We are proud to unveil Rolls-Royce Boat Tail to the world, and with it, the confirmation of coachbuilding as a permanent fixture within our future portfolio.”

Alex Innes, head of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Design, added: “Coachbuild provides freedom to move beyond the usual constraints. Normally, there is a natural ceiling to Rolls-Royce Bespoke by way of the canvas.

“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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