Are you sitting down? Good, for Rolls Royce will sweep you off your feet with their bespoke and aptly-named Sweptail. Four years in the making and specially-designed for one lucky customer, listen out for the tune of £10 million – for this is the world’s most expensive new car. And this weekend, at the Concours of Elegance in the glorious grounds of Hampton Court Palace, we finally got to feast our eyes upon it.
Revealed at the Villa d’Este car show in Italy last year, the car has been making the rounds of all the biggest car shows. Its most defining feature, and the one which gave rise to its name, is the distinctive ‘swept tail’ rear inspired by the Rolls-Royces of the 1920s.
The Sweptail was mysteriously commissioned by one of the brand’s ‘most valued customers’, who wanted an exciting new two-seater unlike anything else on the roads. He reportedly put forward a list of his favourite, elegant, early 20th century vehicles to influence the design, and they are all evident in the final car.
Based on a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, each panel is bespoke and nothing was directly carried over from another production vehicle. The construction alone took over two years to complete, and the shapely-square house style of Rolls keeps this distinctly in line with the British Brand.
The large grille — milled from solid aluminium and hand-polished — brings a modern touch to the vintage-inspired design, and the tapering rear — the jewel in the Sweptail design’s crown — is said to be ‘the ultimate homage to the world of racing yachts’.
Only two seats complete the stunning one-off, with the space a rear bench occupies in other modern Rolls-Royces giving way to a hat shelf — a call-back to when this was a common feature in the brand’s offerings of old. Under the bonnet, the lucky owner will enjoy the Phantom’s 6.7-litre V-12 engine, which gives out 453 horsepower.
It’s an enviable engine, but when the rest of the car is so bespoke, it may leave some disappointed that Rolls-Royce didn’t cook up a special motor to power such a striking car. But, then again, this way we get more of a chance to catch the car as it blasts by — because none of us are going to be getting behind the wheel of one any time soon…