Photo credit: Rolls-Royce
“Today is a crucial moment for Rolls-Royce. We are proud to be able to present the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail to the world and thus the confirmation of body construction as an integral part of our future portfolio. In the past, custom body construction was an integral part of Rolls-Royce history. In the contemporary Rolls-Royce story, this was determined by our guiding philosophy from Bespoke. But it's about more, much more. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is a return to the roots of our brand. It is an opportunity for the chosen few to participate in creating absolutely unique products of future historical significance.
Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Project "Boat Tail"
- Based on a customer order, the Boat Tail combines luxury, design and culture between the brand and the client
- Coachbuild enables clients to create strong expressions of personal taste
- In 2017, Rolls-Royce initiated the art of contemporary body construction with the launch of the Sweptail
Rolls-Royce has listened carefully to its closest customers as they expressed their desire to deepen their relationship with the brand. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is not a concept that was developed for post-sale to customers. But on the contrary. Rolls-Royce believes in complete authenticity, and the Boat Tail is the culmination of four years of working with three of our special customers. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild customers are personally involved in every step of the creative and technical process. We work closely with them to better understand their personality and its nuances and to carefully translate those traits to accomplish the mission.
Only Rolls-Royce can offer its Coachbuild customers the opportunity to create a product of future historical importance that is as fundamentally unique as its owner - and then participate in every detail of its development. That is authentic luxury, that is Rolls-Royce Coachbuild. " Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
What is an automobile anyway?
“The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail questions the idea of what an automobile is. He creates a new definition of what a car means. The boat tail exists far beyond a mere means of transport. It is not the means to the end, it is the end itself. It is a concept of extraordinary scope that results in a work of art of historical importance. Coach build means more freedom. Usually there is a natural limit to Rolls-Royce Bespoke. At Rolls-Royce Coachbuild we are now breaking through this and using the freedom that body construction offers to develop a concept directly with our clients. We achieved this goal with the Boat Tail. We have created a trio of extraordinary automobiles, which, although they basically have a common body design, are each permeated by the client's unique, highly personal aspirations. The boat tail is unparalleled and is a clear counterpoint to industrial luxury. " Alex Innes, Head of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Design, Rolls-Royce
A Rolls-Royce has always served as a canvas on which customers reflect their personal tastes, express ambitions and define legacies. And more and more customers appreciate the capabilities of Rolls-Royce Bespoke. The brand and its customers have become increasingly closer. The development of mutual trust has led to increasingly ambitious orders, which extend far beyond the scope of usual Bespoke competencies and capacities into the field of body construction. In order to fulfill these customer orders, Rolls-Royce decided to return to one of the brand's roots and set up a separate department within the company: Rolls-Royce Coachbuild.
Body construction is an intense expression of Rolls-Royce Bespoke and reserved for those trying to go beyond existing constraints. The result will create a future historical legacy and drive designs that, in turn, define an era and whose influence extends well beyond the purpose of being a mere means of transportation.
SWEPTAIL CREATED THE BEGINNING
The contemporary reinterpretation of body construction began in 2017 with the Rolls-Royce Sweptail. It was a decisive moment that created a landmark of automotive luxury and represented a new dimension of craftsmanship. He embodied a major realignment of opportunity and affirmed that Rolls-Royce's legacy is defined in collaboration with its customers. The Sweptail sparked a fascination among collectors, patrons of the arts and clients of iconic architecture. Quite a few of them turned to Rolls-Royce and asked if they too could place a unique order. One that went even deeper and offered a more intense sense of curation. The brand agreed and signaled the establishment of a permanent body shop at Rolls-Royce.
Within this group of interested parties, it turned out that three potential customers had a deep appreciation for contemporary nautical design. J-class yachts have often been referred to as points of inspiration - both for the clarity of their shape and for their craftsmanship at the highest level. This customer-oriented expression coincided with the long-cherished efforts of the Rolls-Royce design team to create a contemporary expression of the boat tail typology, in which the stern of a yacht is transferred to a Rolls-Royce. When the designers proposed the idea, the three customers were in agreement - and they all had one single demand: “Show something that we have never seen before.” So an agreement was reached that three vehicles were given a common body, but then each one is highly personalized. This is how the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail was designed.
TRANSFER OF THE SOUL
The manual techniques of body construction offer new design options. First, a design proposal is developed by hand before the vehicle is created as a clay sculpture in its original size. This enables changes to the surfaces by hand to perfect the shape. During this process, customers are invited to influence the style. The clay model is then digitally remastered to form a frame on which hand-formed aluminum sheets are stretched. Using centuries-old craftsmanship and the latest technologies, a living canvas is made of metal. The aluminum body is ground and optimized, creating a clear surface and a refinement of the line that cannot be achieved with the machine alone.
The procedure is similar to yacht building and facilitates the transfer of the soul into creation. The process takes place without any time pressure. In the process, metal sheets slowly transform into the sculptural appearance of the boat tail: seamless, without interruption by broken panels, dramatic in their curvature, monolithic in scale and formed from a seemingly endless surface.
The first Rolls-Royce Boat Tail unveiled today is a collection of extraordinary thoughts, concepts, and objects that make up the perfect experience. The clients, a globally successful couple who are very familiar with commissioning Rolls-Royce automobiles, embody true connoisseurship. Your appreciation for luxury as is an art form in itself. The couple's desire was to create an answer to a life of hard work. Your Rolls-Royce Boat Tail should radiate joy to enjoy with the family.
Together with the brand's designers, they embarked on a journey based on the long-standing and creative relationship with the brand. Customers' fascination with the boat tail shape was further enhanced by a vehicle from their private collection: a Rolls-Royce Boat Tail from 1932, which they lovingly restored in time for their modern boat tail to be completed.
The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail represents a new aesthetic for the brand. The creation tells the romantic story of Rolls-Royce by reflecting a boat tail design, but not explicitly imitating it, but rather combining it with a contemporary design. With a length of almost 5,80 meters, the generosity of the proportions and the clarity of the surfaces offer a graceful and relaxed appearance. The front profile focuses on a new treatment of Rolls-Royce's iconic Pantheon grille and headlight graphics. The grille becomes an integral part of the bow, not an applique. This freedom of design is only granted to the Rolls-Royce Coachbuild models. The advanced approach reduces the familiar formality of Rolls-Royce while maintaining the brand's undeniable presence. Strong horizontal graphics with low daytime running lights form the intense forehead line of the boat tail and frame classic round headlights - a design feature that comes from the Rolls-Royce design archives.
In the profile, the nautical references are very suggestive. The wraparound windshield is reminiscent of the visor of classic motor yachts, while the gentle inclination of the A-pillar to the rear, the large and powerful volumes at the front and the tapered stern create the appearance of a motorboat when it emerges from the water when accelerating. A progressive negative sculpture in the lower body area conveys a sleek impression and at the same time makes a historical reference to the running boards of the Rolls-Royce design.
Viewed from the rear, the body shape dissolves in its gentle contour. As in the front, horizontal emphasis is achieved on the rear with wide, low-set taillights - a break with the expected vertical Rolls-Royce light graphic.
Finally, at the stern, the nautical references become even clearer. The aft deck is a modern take on historical boats and contains large panels. The Caleidolegno applications are treated with a little trick of the Rolls-Royce technique. The gray-black material that is normally found in the interior has been specially adapted for the outdoor area without compromising on aesthetics. The open-pored veneer has a linear grain that is optically extended by pinstripe inlays made of brushed stainless steel and is an allusion to the typical wooden construction of old and new yachts. The extraordinary skills of the wood specialists at Rolls-Royce made it possible to adapt the grain to the geometry of the vehicle. The veneer treatment extends to the lower mirror area and dissolves the taper and overall volume to the rear. This bold shortening is a subtle pointer to the hull lines of classic boat hulls.
From behind you can see a strong graphic composition, which is characterized by further horizontal emphasis and emphasizes the great width of the boat tail. Low taillights form a dramatically low edge and are reminiscent of the lowered stern of an accelerating motor boat.
A clear architectural influence can be seen in the removable fixed roof of the boat tail. In addition to the sculptural shape, the curved roof line ends with filigree structural elements that attach to the rear. Should bad weather occur on the way with the roof removed, a soft cover placed in the trunk offers protection.
MUSE IN BLUE
The exterior of the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is wrapped in a rich, complex blue, the favorite color of the buyer couple. The hue has an obvious nautical reference. Embedded metal and crystal flakes give the finish a lively and energetic aura. The wheels are light blue, highly polished and coated with clear lacquer to underline the character of the boat tail. The hand-painted bonnet - a first for Rolls-Royce - stands out in a comparatively subdued, deeper blue. The hue seems to pour over the radiator grille from above.
The leather in the interior reflects the color transition of the bonnet, with the front seats in a darker shade of blue, which visually expresses the driver-oriented intent of the boat tail. The rear seats are lighter in color. A soft metallic sheen is integrated into the leather, which picks up on the exterior design, while the seams and piping are executed in a more intense blue. A bright blue is woven into the interior applications at an angle of 55 degrees, giving the appearance of waves.
The dashboard is deliberately reduced in its appearance in order to ensure a modern aesthetic. The minimalist approach emphasizes the jewel-like features of the completely unique BOVET 1822 watches, which the customer specifically commissioned for the Boat Tail. Discreetly in the glove compartment is a handcrafted aluminum and leather case that securely houses another great passion of the customers: an antique fountain pen from Montblanc. The instrument panel is finished with a decorative technique called guilloché, which is at home in the jewelry and watch industry. An elegant, thinly rimmed two-tone steering wheel picks up on the colors of the vehicle. The tactility of the open-pored Caleidolegno can also be experienced in the interior. The veneer is anthracite in color, adding strength and depth to offset the softness of the light blue and metallic sheen.
A SENSE FOR THE OPPORTUNITY
"This vehicle should mark an occasion and serve this occasion like nothing else."
That was the customer's order. In response, and in accordance with this, the aft deck hosts a particularly ambitious concept. At the push of a button, the deck opens in a curved butterfly gesture to reveal a spacious hosting suite. The complex movement is inspired by cantilever concepts investigated by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.
The hosting suite forms the festive focus for a joint event and offers sufficient opportunity to reveal the individuality and preferences of the customers. In the direction of the center line, the synchronized opening movement shows a treasure chest with moving parts. It opens and presents its content at an angle of exactly 15 degrees. So it elegantly reflects the British service philosophy. The hosting suite is perfectly equipped for a real Rolls-Royce outdoor experience. One side is dedicated to aperitifs, the other to the kitchen. A double refrigerator was also developed to house the customer's most popular champagne vintages. For this purpose, elegant holders were made to safely stow the specific bottle size in the refrigerator. The bezels are highly polished and color-coordinated with the bottle. The silver cutlery comes from Christofle in Paris.
A classic design element of modern Rolls-Royce automobiles is keeping Rolls-Royce umbrellas in the doors in anticipation of possible bad weather. In a delightful modification of an expectation of nice weather, a parasol is housed under the rear center line. A telescopic movement inserts the canopy and ensures effortless comfort on arrival at the destination.
Cocktail tables, supported by piano hinges, open on either side of the hosting suite, giving access to two minimalist seats that are discreetly tucked underneath. Designed by Rolls-Royce and manufactured by Italian furniture maker Promemoria, the sleek, interlocking stools are made from the same technical fiber that is found on the outside of the vehicle. They are covered with the blue Rolls-Royce leather of the interior.
TIMELESS PASSION - COLLABORATION WITH BOVET 1822
In a step that further demonstrates the visionary approach of the customers, two large luxury houses with a common pursuit of perfection were brought together at their request: world-class craftsmanship by BOVET 1822, which is based on the philosophy of ingenuity and technology, hand in hand with Rolls-Royce.
The customers who think in mechanical dimensions tried to break new ground in the art of watchmaking. As a passionate collector of both BOVET 1822 and Rolls-Royce, their vision was to create a groundbreaking timepiece for the boat tail. This created a completely new and unique clock for the dashboard.
The result has never been achieved in either industry before. Two fine reversible clocks, one for women and one for men, have been designed so that they can be worn on the wrist or placed in the front of the dashboard of the boat tail.
For the two-sided timepieces, Rolls-Royce and BOVET 1822 worked side by side for three years to develop a fundamental remastering of the most complex Amadeo convertible system to date. The result reflects the masterful skills of BOVET 1822 and enables a tourbillon timepiece to be integrated into the vehicle.
Pascal Raffy, owner of BOVET 1822, commented: “I am proud of the team at BOVET 1822 who, together with the elite Rolls-Royce design team, have come up with something spectacular. These two masterpieces and the assembly system are unique and unlike anything we've ever done before. "
The story behind the creation of these remarkable works of art is unique and will be announced in a press release on June 8, 2021 at 14 p.m. CEST.
In order to do justice to the extraordinary ambitions of the customers, considerable technical challenges were overcome in the development of the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. 1.813 completely new parts were created especially for these vehicles. Time, patience, commitment and passion were the hallmarks of the project. A total of more than 20 person-years were spent until the pre-development phase was completed before production began.
While the designs were being finalized with the customers, the scalable aluminum spaceframe architecture was completely reconfigured to support the generous proportions of the boat tail. This process took eight months. As usual, the Bespoke Rolls-Royce audio system with 15 speakers was intended for the vehicle from the start, but the spaceframe architecture was used differently in this case. The entire floor structure is used in the boat tail, creating an extraordinary audio experience.
A unique approach was required to meet the complex needs of the Boat Tail hosting suite. Five electronic control units were developed for the rear of the vehicle alone - a process that required a completely redesigned wiring harness. Only in this way was it possible to open the lid of the aft deck at an angle of 67 degrees, to install a highly secure locking mechanism and to integrate a complete air conditioning system into the aft hosting suite.
The internal temperature of the hosting suite required special consideration. The boat tail was planned in anticipation of fair weather. So it had to be ensured that the heat absorption did not affect the contents of the suite - food and of course champagne. For this purpose, two fans were installed in the lower area to dissipate the heat. The measures were successfully tested at temperatures of 80 to -20 degrees Celsius.
Since the Boat Tail is a fully homologated and road legal automobile, it was only fully approved by the brand once it had undergone the same rigorous dynamic tests as all other Rolls-Royce models. This also applied to the high-speed analysis. This ensured that the content of the hosting suite was adequately secured and made absolutely no noise while driving - after all, all customers confirmed that they wanted to drive the Boat Tail after receiving it.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös sums up: “The Boat Tail is a high point of cooperation, ambition, endeavor and time. It was born out of a desire to celebrate success and create a lasting legacy. In its remarkable implementation, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail creates a crucial moment in the history of our brand and in the contemporary luxury landscape. "
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Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Project Boat Tail
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