2017 Rolls-Royce Sweptail

FiestaST

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Rolls-Royce Sweptail: what it's like to drive a bespoke one-off at Goodwood

Jack Goff, best known for racing bumper-to-bumper in the BTCC, was handed the keys to the coachbuilt creation. We asked him what Sweptail is like to drive

Even among the exotic machinery at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Rolls-Royce Sweptail caused a stir.

That’s not a surprise: Sweptail is a bespoke ‘coachbuild’, developed by the British firm over four years to a customer’s exacting requirements – and which Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller Otvös says is “probably the most expensive new car ever.”

Sweptail took regular trips up the hill over the Festival of Speed weekend. And who was trusted with driving a car that touches on ‘priceless’? That would be Jack Goff, best known as a rising star racing a Team Eurotech Honda Civic in the bumper-bashing MSA British Touring Car Championship.

It might seem a strange choice, but when he isn’t going door handle-to-door handle on Britain’s racing circuits, the 26-year-old works as a driver for Rolls-Royce, driving the firm’s cars at events all over the world.

But even in the rarified air of Rolls-Royce machines, Sweptail stands out. So how do you drive someone else’s virtually priceless creation up the Goodwood Hill?

Simple: carefully.

“First things first, don’t scratch it,” says Goff. “This car is not about breaking the outright record up the hill; it’s about travelling in elegance, style and comfort. That’s very much the Rolls-Royce philosophy.

“Rolls-Royce can have fast cars, but they’ve got to do it elegantly, and Sweptail ticks all those boxes.”

Goff received some ‘helpful’ advice from his BTCC team ahaead of Goodwood: “I was at Eurotech last week, and they showed me all my damaged front bumpers from this season, and told me not to do that driving Sweptail. I am far more aware of not scratching this car.”

Goff admits he’s lucky to be trusted with driving Sweptail: “It’s a massive privilege. I’ve driven some lovely cars over the last five or six years working for Rolls-Royce, but to be able to say you’re driving a one-off, bespoke coachbuild is fantastic.

“This car is the result of four years work between the customer and the Rolls-Royce design team – and they’ve trusted me to drive it at the home of Rolls-Royce.”

While the short Goodwood hillclimb, complete with unforgiving run-off in places, meant that Goff only had limited mileage in the car, he says it handles impressively.

“It feels very much like a Rolls-Royce,” he says. “It’s a big car – a big car – but when you’re behind the wheel it actually feels lightweight and nimble.

“Some parts of the hillclimb are quite tight and twisty, but it handles them with ease, which is a testament to the engineers at Rolls-Royce.”

Even when parked in Goodwood’s ‘first look’ paddock, there was a crowd gathered around Sweptail for much of the weekend. That attention remained even when Goff was driving Sweptail from the paddock to the start of the hillclimb – he had six minders to help him work the big machine through the crowds. Goff says he can understand the reaction.

“The car’s had a lot of press, and it’s a stunning car, an absolute masterpiece,” he says. “It’s a piece of art. Everyone’s reaction is ‘wow’ – you can’t see a fully coachbuilt car like this anywhere else.”

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/...lls-royce-sweptail-what-its-drive-bespoke-one

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FiestaST

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£10 MILLION Rolls-Royce Sweptail - MOST EXPENSIVE New Car EVER! - Shmee

[video=youtube;2UNJkpVy8rQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UNJkpVy8rQ[/video]
 

I.am.Sam

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[video=youtube;YPBks5_UP54]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPBks5_UP54[/video]

amazing video on rolls royce customization
 

FiestaST

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More ultra-exclusive Rolls-Royce models on the way
British firm will follow-up one-off Sweptail commission with an extra low-volume model

Rolls-Royce is developing a second ultra-low-volume model with bespoke bodywork.

The car is planned for the "near future", according to design chief Giles Taylor, and follows the one-off Sweptail model shown at the Villa d'Este concours event in Italy last year.

Taylor implies that there could be more than one example of this next model, although the number will be in the low single figures.

The company is exploring models with hand-beaten bodywork as part of its fast-growing bespoke business, says Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös, with the department now staffed with more than 100 designers, engineers, customer liaison staff and more.

“It's the future of luxury,” he says. “People don't want something others can get. They want something very unique. We've invested quite a lot in this. Bespoke is very important - without it, we wouldn't sell as many cars.”

One of the challenges of making panel-beaten bodies is “having the capacity to do it”, Müller-Ötvös adds, because these skills are hard to find. A promising solution “is 3D printing of panels”.

Further in the future, perhaps by 2040, Müller-Ötvös believes the advent of autonomous cars and the reduced need for pedestrian protection features could allow more creative scope. “It could bring the old era back,” he says, referencing the last century when bespoke bodywork was built on a separate chassis.

Rolls-Royce’s bespoke department is an increasingly busy division in the company, having created several high-profile projects in recent history, including the Sweptail, and it fettled the four cars displayed at the Geneva motor show. Almost every Rolls-Royce ordered today features that department’s handywork at the request of the customer, the brand has previously revealed to Autocar.

The next ultra-exclusive car will likely be not quite as customer-involved as the Sweptail, however. Speaking at the Sweptail launch last year, Taylor said: “We will probably never repeat the level of involvement we had with a customer for this car [Sweptail] ever again, not because we don’t want to but because it’s always fraught with risk that someone may misinterpret the end goal. It’s a risk you might end up with something that doesn’t fit the brand or suit the customer."

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/...w/more-ultra-exclusive-rolls-royce-models-way
 

FiestaST

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Rolls-Royce ramps up exclusivity with new Coachbuild arm

Phantom's Architecture of Luxury aluminium chassis will serve as a platform for an array of bespoke commissions

Rolls-Royce is set to establish a dedicated Coachbuild division to expand its production of bespoke luxury cars.

The Goodwood-based manufacturer has a heritage of producing exclusive built-to-order coachbuilt models that dates back to the 1920s. In 2017, the firm revealed the Sweptail as a one-off bespoke creation with a reported price tag of around £10 million.

The firm has expanded the customisation options offered by its Bespoke division, and since the start of this year every car that has been produced by Rolls-Royce has featured some customised elements.

Rolls-Royce has now hinted that it will expand that service further thanks to the firm’s lightweight Architecture of Luxury aluminium spaceframe chassis, which was introduced with the latest Phantom and now underpins all the company’s vehicles.

The firm claims that the ability to treat that platform in the same manner as a rolling chassis opens new possibilities in terms of coachbuild design and means it has “reacquired the freedom to construct almost any body shape its patrons can imagine, constrained only by fundamental design and engineering requirements”.

 
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