Rolls-Royce is working on a second ultra-low-volume model with bespoke bodywork. According to design chief Giles Taylor, the car is planned for the "near future". The car takes off from the one-off Sweptail model that was shown earlier at the Villa d'Este concours event in Italy in 2017.
Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the company is even looking at hand-beaten bodywork as part of its fast-growing bespoke business. “It's the future of luxury,” he said. “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.”
In the distant future, say around 2040, Müller-Ötvös believes that autonomous cars and the reduced need for pedestrian protection features will give the company more scope to be creative. “It could bring the old era back,” he says, referencing the last century, when bespoke bodywork was built on a separate chassis.
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."