Rolls-Royce is open to taking additional requests for one-off cars from its wealthiest clients in the coming years. It doesn't plan to make coachbuilt vehicles the norm in order to maintain their exclusivity, however.
Rumored to cost nearly $30 million, the Boat Tail (pictured) introduced in May 2021 demonstrated what the BMW-owned British firm is capable of when money is truly no object. It's the product of a four-year development process that presumably cost several million dollars, and it was built at the request of three anonymous clients. It's the first car made since Coachbuild was promoted to a standalone division with the group, and it's very likely not the last.
"Our idea is to maybe do one project every second year. Whether it's three cars or one car will hinge very much on the idea of the clients, and also on our appetite for doing it," explained company boss Torsten Müller-Otvös in an interview with British magazine Autocar. He added Rolls-Royce has the luxury to turn down requests it doesn't like.
Precisely what will receive the firm's proverbial green light for production hasn't been specified. We're guessing future one-offs will need to adhere to the company's image, so transforming a humble Fiat 500 into a luxury car, Aston Martin Cygnet-style, is probably very low on the firm's list of priorities. Regardless, one-of-a-kind models won't roll out of the Rolls-Royce workshop on a weekly basis. Executives want to keep them "very rare," the CEO added, even if they receive numerous requests. Supply won't necessarily keep up with demand.
What comes next depends on what customers request (and are willing to pay for). Rolls-Royce is open to experimenting with different body styles and different powertrain types, including a fully electric system. It's reportedly working on its first electric model, which could be called Silent Shadow when it enters production, and this foundation could be used to make a coachbuilt car if a customer commissions it.
"There is no intention to boost any volume, because the intention clearly is to create projects that are significant for the brand's history in 70 or 100 years or so, and that are truly unique pieces. That also fits quite nicely into the heritage of Rolls-Royce with coachbuilding projects in the 1920s and the 1930s," Müller-Otvös concluded.
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