Most expensive motoring masterpiece

A one-off, fully-bespoke car for a discerning customer is rumoured to be the most expensive new car ever.

Photography by Rolls-Royce

14 June 2017


Presented at the recent 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, the entirely bespoke car, dubbed the Sweptail because of its swept rear end reminiscent of the design used by Rolls-Royces of the 1920s, is said to have cost the client US$12.8 million.

And according to Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös, it could well be the most expensive new car ever sold.

The customer, the owner of custom-built superyachts and private jets, approached Rolls-Royce with the desire for a distinctive two-seat grand tourer he could add to his collection.

Rolls-Royce design supremo, Giles Taylor together with the Rolls-Royce Bespoke department worked closely with the customer for four years to bring his vision to life.


Underpinning the Sweptail is a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. It boasts the same 6.75-litre V-12 under the hood making 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and drives the rear wheels.

The rest of this exquisite car is entirely unique, from its grille – the largest of any modern Rolls-Royce, milled from a single piece of aluminum and polished by hand to a mirror finish. On the roof is a large panoramic glass element.

Materials include Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao wood surfaces joined by and Moccasin and Dark Spice leather areas.

In place of the Phantom Drophead Coupe’s rear seats is a vast expanse of wood creating a shelf with an illuminated glass lip. It’s highly polished and inset with luggage rails.

Behind the cabin, a feature named the Passarelle can be found. It starts at the rear edge of the windscreen then tapers into a teardrop shape at the rear. This element also includes the only visible presence of the car’s Sweptail name etched into the centre line.

But the car’s “coup de gras” is its one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of champagne and two crystal champagne flutes.


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