Rolls-Royce looks to coachbuilt future

Luxury car buyers value exclusivity higher than almost anything else, with Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös confirming the company is looking to build both low-run coachbuilt specials, but also to dramatically expand the extent to which its cars can be customized by the factory.
- shares

The one-off Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’ proved there is a market for ultra-limited models, with Müller-Ötvös saying the problem is now finding the resource to build other versions.

“That was a very successful experiment,” he told Caradvice at the launch of the new Phantom in Switzerland, “but it took us four years…

"You need to meet homologation, there are so many legal requirements you need to make. But after we launched it I immediately had a couple of calls saying ‘I want to be involved in the next one please’... The market potential is not the problem, the challenge is to make it happen and ultimately to have the right capacity for these kind of projects.”

Rolls’s new aluminium spaceframe platform, officially known as the “Architecture of Luxury” gives much more flexibility for constructing limited run models, with the ability to make substantial changes to key dimensions.

“We have done some 3D printing and I think that our long term goal is to print bigger parts,” Müller-Ötvös said, “maybe even bodies are possible. I think it is a very fair question, for me the future of luxury is that you have to get more and more bespoke.

"People in this segment really want to have something extremely special, something significantly different from what your friend has.”