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The most expensive car yet: R168-million Rolls-Royce Sweptail Coupe

2017-05-30 07:51

THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE CAR It’s called the Sweptail Coupe and at the equivalent of R168-million, this Rolls-Royce makes a new Bugatti Chiron look cheap. Image: Rolls - Royce

Lance Branquinho

London - It’s rare that Bugatti’s Chiron is usurped as an object of the absolute most decadent automotive excess and expense, but this weekend, that rarity became reality.

On the shores of Lake Como, in Northern Italy, an anonymous Rolls-Royce customer revealed the most expensive production car ever made. Quite fittingly, this patron of all things truly bespoke – described by Rolls-Royce as a collector of ‘fine yachts and rare aircraft’ too – chose the esteemed Concorso d’Eleganza event to show off a car of immense presence, and expense.

It’s called the Sweptail  and traces most of its styling influences from Rolls-Royces of interwar years, built by hand to the most exacting specification imaginable. A project initiated between the owner and Rolls-Royce back in 2013, this Sweptail defines the true definition of ‘bespoke’.

2017 Rolls-Royce Sweptail Coupe


Some of the most expensive cars:

Koenigsegg CXX Trevita - R62-million

Bugatti Chiron - R40m

Ferrari Aperta - R26m

McLaren P1 GTR - R25m

Pagani Huayra  - R13m


The price is substantial: R160m. The most expensive new car ever sold and we imagine, that even adjusted for future inflation, there will never be a hypercar of any other production passenger vehicle which could ever match this Sweptail’s price. It makes a Bugatti Chiron, at just shy of R40m, appear affordable. 

For his R160m the Sweptail owner has a most unique Rolls-Royce, which although numbered chassis #8, will never be reproduced. The slightly lopsided side-profile aside, Sweptail’s design is imposing and a modern miracle of mechanical engineering – especially the full-length glass roof. 


Beyond the exceptional exterior is a cabin which is fantastically selfish in its execution: having only two seats. Despite generous cabin dimensions, the Sweptail’s rear seats have been replaced with wood decking, featuring aluminium luggage rail inserts, to act a luggage stowage surface. The calibre and finish of Sweptail’s in-cabin wood decking would not look out of place on a Lake Como speedboat. But that’s not truly its most remarkable comfort and convenience feature. 

The absolute pièce de résistance feature is a hand-built serving mechanism, deploying from the centre console, at the touch of a button. Serving what? Well, nothing less than the Sweptail owner’s choice of champagne, with two crystal champagne flutes presenting as the bottle of bubbly rises from a refrigerated compartment. 

For some, this Sweptail is a touch ungainly in appearance, reviving a styling aesthetic too retro in its appeal. For others, even committed hypercar buyers, R160m on a new car would be considered a bit excessive. For the man who paid his money, and customised his choice from Rolls-Royce, it is R160-million well spent. The fact that he built the most expensive car the world will ever know, is merely coincidental. 

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