Rolls-Royce Unveils Sweptail At Villa d'Este for Concorso d'Eleganza
Sweptail is a highly bespoke motor car created by Rolls-Royce to fulfil the dreams of a single customer. Unveiled at Villa d’Este for Concorso d’Eleganza, it evokes the drama of the swept-tail Rolls-Royces from the 1920s, admired by the client who came to the House of Rolls-Royce in 2013 setting the challenge to reimagine this for a one-of-a-kind motor car.
“Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture,” says director of Rolls-Royce design Giles Taylor. The customer, he says, became fully-involved in the creative process, selecting the cloth which was then tailored for him. Taylor smiles: “You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by.”
A connoisseur and collector of luxury cars, superyachts and aircraft, the unnamed gentleman came to Rolls-Royce to realise his vision of a one-off luxury motor car that would evoke the beauty of coachbuilt Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s. He asked for a two-seat coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.
Amongst his inspirations were the dramatic 1925 Phantom I Round Door – the svelte tapering glasshouse, dramatic dash to axle proportion and up-sweep of the rear departure angle of the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon. Other classics from the marque’s golden age informing this car were the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon and the Park Ward 20/25 Limousine Coupé.
It took a number of years for Taylor and his team of designers to bring this vision to life. “Our job was to guide, edit and finely hone the lines that would ultimately give our client this most perfect of Rolls-Royces,” says Taylor.
The grille is the largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce milled from solid aluminum and polished by hand to a mirror finish. The elegant silhouette defines Sweptail’s unique character. Then from the leading edge of the windscreen, the roofline accelerates as it fires backwards towards the rear of the motor car, overshooting the boot lid edge to emphasize its length. Finally, the rear is the ultimate homage to the world of racing yachts that played a large part in informing the client.
“Sweptail exudes the romance of travel for its own sake,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, “and immediately places Sweptail in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. It is proof that Rolls-Royce is at the pinnacle of coachbuilding.”