It is believed Rolls-Royce’s retro-themed custom convertible is the most expensive new car ever sold.

Rolls-Royce – perhaps the world’s most prolific and prestigious manufacturer of luxury cars – has taken the covers off a new custom ‘Boat Tail’ four-seat retro convertible, just days after confirming plans to revive its bespoke coachbuilding division.

Underpinned by the BMW-owned brand’s now-ubiquitous Architecture of Luxury aluminium spaceframe, the ‘Boat Tail’ is largely based on the existing Rolls-Royce Phantom limousine.

However, all external sheetmetal has been replaced, and 1813 unique parts were reportedly designed and produced specifically for the new model. The car also features a wholly-reworked rear-end storing a cooled food and drink compartment, integrated umbrella, fold-out tables, and collapsible carbon-fibre chairs.

A 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 lifted from the standard production car sends 420kW/900Nm to the rear wheels via an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

Rolls-Royce is yet to quote a 0-100km/h time for the ‘Boat Tail,’ however in the Phantom the 6.75-litre engine allows the benchmark sprint in conquered in a claimed 5.3 seconds.

The brand has not confirmed pricing for the vehicle “out of respect for [the] client’s privacy.” However, an overnight report from British outlet Autocar claimed a buyer had put forward a £20 million (AU$37 million) figure. If accurate, this would make it one of the most – if not the most – expensive new cars ever sold.

The design and name references the yacht-inspired Rolls-Royce ‘Boat Tail’ tourers of the 1920s and 1930s (shown above), which were almost entirely custom-built to order.

In 2020 CarAdvice unearthed the first patent filing for what would eventually becomes the 2021 Rolls-Royce ‘Boat Tail.’

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