At the flick of a switch the rear deck opens to reveal a hosting suite for a high-class picnic. Picture: SUPPLIED
At the flick of a switch the rear deck opens to reveal a hosting suite for a high-class picnic. Picture: SUPPLIED

When a Rolls-Royce Phantom or Cullinan is just too common, you go to the luxury carmaker’s Coachbuild division and order something like this nautical-themed Rolls-Royce Boat Tail picnic car.

It was created by the luxury British carmaker in collaboration with the three clients who will get to own one. The Boat Tail was unveiled to commemorate Rolls-Royce’s permanent return to coachbuilding, which allows customers to participate in the creation of unique and personal cars — as long as money’s no object.

With a rumoured price tag of £20m (R390m), which would make it the world’s most expensive new car, two of the Boat Tail’s owners are said to be celebrity couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z, according to The Telegraph.

The company calls the Boat Tail a counterpoint to industrialised luxury. Rolls-Royce serves as a canvas onto which clients reflect their personal tastes, says Alex Innes, head of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild Design.

CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös confirmed the new division as Rolls-Royce Coachbuild and said it will be able to create a unique vehicle to a customer’s exact requirements.

“Rolls-Royce Coachbuild clients are intimately and personally involved at each step of the creative and engineering process,” he said.

The Boat Tail convertible referenced J-Class racing yachts for inspiration, both for their purity of form and their hand-craftsmanship. The downward-sloping aft deck incorporates wood with brushed stainless steel pinstripe inlays as a nod to the typical wooden construction of yachts.

At the press of a button the deck opens to reveal what Rolls-Royce calls a hosting suite, a chest filled with goodies for a high-class picnic in the park. The chest contains a fridge with aperitifs and cuisine, complete with cutlery engraved with the name Boat Tail. To complete the al fresco dining experience, cocktail tables open on either side of the hosting suite providing access to two stools.

Rolls-Royce hasn’t provided any technical details except to confirm that the car stretches 5.8m from tip to tail, the same size as the Phantom sedan.

There is no push-button convenience to switch between closed and open-sky mode. Travelling al fresco requires the fixed-canopy roof to be manually removed and left at home, hoping that the weather gods are kind. If it should rain on the picnic, a temporary tonneau cover provides protection when the car is parked.

Inside the cabin, a pair of clocks in the fascia can be removed and worn as his and hers timepieces on the wrist.

droppad@arena.africa

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