Despite the crisis, luxury is still doing just as well. Rolls-Royce understood this well with the announcement on May 27 of a car dedicated to the ultra-rich and called Boat Tail (“Boat tail”, in reference to its rear inspired by a yacht).
This convertible, produced in only three copies, inaugurates a division “custom made” that Rolls-Royce intends to develop, thus imitating other luxury manufacturers such as Bentley and Porsche, which belongs to Volkswagen.
Although the brand has not disclosed the price of its new baby, it is expected to be around $ 28 million (23 million euros), according to the Carscoops site. That’s about three times more than the most expensive new car currently on sale, namely Bugatti’s Centodieci ($ 9.7 million), and twice as much as the Sweptail coupe, presented by Rolls-Royce in 2017 and which cost 12.8 million euros at the time.
It was, of course, already possible for wealthy Rolls-Royce customers to request personalized accommodations. Billionaire Jack Boyd Smith offered himself in February an exclusive Rolls Phantom with an interior made of Koa wood, a tree that only grows in Hawaii and is protected by local authorities.
But until now, customization was limited to the choice of paint or finishes and accessories. The Boat Tail inaugurates a special department called «Coachbuild», where customers can fully customize the body to their liking, says CNN.
The excess of tailor-made
An idea taken directly from Porsche, which has a program called «Special request» (“Special wish” in German), initially created in the 1980s and recently relaunched by the brand.
The German brand thus allows its rich fans to revisit old legendary models, such as the Porsche 356 or the 911 released in the 1960s. The Boat Tail is also a modern version of a series of very rare convertibles. Rolls-Royce released in the 1920s, whose first customer owned a copy, said Carscoops.
In the early days of the automobile, wealthy customers often chose an automobile manufacturer, such as Rolls-Royce, Hispano-Suiza or Duesenberg, to build the mechanical parts for the car, while the bodywork was designed by a specialist company, many of whom were former carriage builders. “It was the height of personalization”, remembers CNN.
Today, many body shops have been taken over by the auto brands themselves, who have internalized the customization work. Except that building a tailor-made vehicle is much more complicated today, given the safety constraints and the modern way of manufacturing cars, where the chassis and the bodywork are integrated.
But unlike concept cars, intended only for prestige, these personalized models will be profitable, assures the brand. At $ 28 million, you can afford to spend two years on the trunk of a car.