As a House of Luxury, Rolls-Royce imbues its products with meaning. A Rolls-Royce serves as a canvas onto which clients reflect their personal tastes, express ambitions and often, define legacies. The Bespoke treatment of a Rolls-Royce elegantly reflects its status as ‘the best car in the world’ while stylishly expressing the personality of its commissioning client. Coachbuilding is a highly distilled expression of Rolls-Royce Bespoke and is reserved for those who look to move beyond existing constraints. It is based on a true commission model and represents a collaborative exploration of meaningful luxury, design and culture between the marque and its commissioning client. The results become pivotal moments in time that create a future historical legacy, advancing designs which in turn define an era, extending influence far beyond the original intended purpose of a mere means of transportation.
Ever increasingly, clients appreciate and enjoy the marque’s Bespoke capabilities and Rolls-Royce is called upon, by its clients, to integrate itself into their lives in meaningful ways. The brand and its clients have become progressively closer and the designers, engineers and craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce, a Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence, have developed a unique fluency in interpreting the lifestyles of these remarkable women and men. This evolution of mutual confidence has resulted in ever more ambitious commissions, reaching well beyond the scope of Bespoke competencies and capacity, into the rarefied realm of coachbuilding. To fulfil these extraordinary client commissions Rolls-Royce has reached a decision to return to one of the historical roots of the marque and to initiate a distinct department within the company, Rolls-Royce Coachbuild.
To fulfil the clients’ extraordinary ambitions, significant engineering challenges were overcome in the development of Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. Indeed, 1813 completely new parts were created specifically for the cars. Time, patience, dedication and passion were the project’s hallmarks. To complete the preliminary engineering phase, prior to the commencement of production, a total of over 20 collective years were expended. While designs were being finalised with the clients, the marque’s body-in-white, with its scalable aluminium spaceframe architecture, was completely reconfigured to support Boat Tail’s generous proportions, a process that took eight months in itself. As ever, the 15-speaker Bespoke Rolls-Royce Audio System was intended from the motor car’s inception, but the spaceframe architecture was exploited differently. Rolls-Royce’s existing product portfolio use a specially designed sill section of the architecture as the resonance chambers for the sound system’s bass speakers.
Indeed, the inside temperature of the hosting suite was a specific consideration. Boat Tail was created in anticipation of fair weather, so measures needed to be taken to ensure that heat absorption did not adversely affect the contents of the suite, which could include food, liquids and of course champagne. To that end, two fans are mounted in the lower section of the hosting suite to dissipate heat. To confirm this and to ensure that Boat Tail’s hosting suite will acquit itself in all climates, it has been rigorously and successfully tested to 80 degrees Celsius and -20 degrees Celsius. To support the complex requirements of the hosting suite to the rear of Boat Tail, a unique electronic treatment was required. Five electronic control units (ECUs) were created for the rear of the car alone – a process that required a completely redesigned, dedicated wiring harness, which was the product of nine months of intensive research and development.
As Boat Tail is a fully homologated, road-legal motor car that was created to be driven, it was only fully released by the marque once it had undergone the same rigorous dynamic testing as all other Rolls-Royces, including high speed analysis to ensure the contents of the rear hosting suite are sufficiently fastened and therefore silent under power. Indeed, each client has stipulated that they wish to drive their Boat Tail immediately upon receipt. In a move that further demonstrates the clients’ visionary approach to contemporary patronage, two great luxury Houses with a common pursuit of perfection have been brought together at the clients’ behest. World-class craftspeople from the House of BOVET 1822, which was founded on the philosophy of ingenuity and engineering, were called upon to work hand-in-hand with Rolls-Royce’s own masters in their field. The mechanically minded clients sought to break new ground in horology. As esteemed and passionate collectors of both the Swiss-based House of BOVET and Rolls-Royce, their vision was to create exquisite, ground-breaking timepieces for their Boat Tail.
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