BOAT meets a gold-hulled Lamborghini speedster that combines supercar muscle with surprisingly liveable spaces
What I expect to hear is the deep thunderclap growl of a Lamborghini supercar. But what emerges from the 20-metre Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 is a much more elegant and refined sound. It is a gentle purr – although it still offers the familiar bone-tickling thrill of hearing a powerful machine come to life.
As I learn at The Italian Sea Group headquarters in Marina di Carrara, there are in fact many recognisable supercar-esque elements that the collaborative team from Lamborghini and Tecnomar (one of the group’s brands) thought to add to the design. The exterior look – inspired by the £2.5 million limited-edition Sián FKP 37 hybrid car – comes with sharp edges, sculptured lines and geometric patterns that convey Lamborghini’s distinctive style. As I stand in the presence of both the car and the yacht, they look like the ultimate partners in crime.
After all, the Sián FKP 37 car was built to be a rule-breaker. Meaning “flash of lightning” in Italian, the Sián comes with an electric system that works in unison with a V12 engine that can deliver 785hp at 8,500rpm – the highest ever power output from a Lamborghini, triggering speeds of more than 350km/h. With this kind of muscle and a fine knowledge of weight-to-power ratios and aerodynamic surfaces, it’s no wonder Lamborghini relished the opportunity to pour their experience into a triumphant new yacht project. “It was an exciting challenge to design for the water,” says Mitja Borkert, head of design at Automobili Lamborghini. “We have the strongest design DNA in the automobile world, and here we have been able to transport the language of Lamborghini into the future. The feeling of being on board is a great emotion.”
He’s right – but the emotions are not, perhaps, the ones you might imagine. Having stepped on board, the initial impulse is to make oneself at home. That’s certainly true of the owner’s young child, who has already taken to leaving small footprints over the swish suede-look seats. Using the soft, durable Alcantara microfibre material means those on board needn’t worry about watermarks, spilled drinks and stains. “We worked hard on maintaining a strong focus on usability and liveability,” says Gian Marco Campanino, head of design at The Italian Sea Group, who is also on board. This perhaps explains why the yacht seems so well-suited not just to the young family who owns the first unit, but also to thrilling day trips and laid-back weekend cruises with guests.
The soft material runs through the interior – even along the walls – chosen in a custom dark grey by the owner, with hand-stitched leather seats and the usual mod-cons hidden away neatly within the aft seating area. For those sitting on the sunpads or around the height-adjustable coffee table under the protective hardtop, the television rises up from the backrest at the push of a button, and the integrated galley station is useful for quick refreshment. Below deck, the dark and handsome accommodation comprises a spacious and comfortable master suite forward and a twin cabin joined by a shared en suite. This formation of rooms is what the owner chose to fit the family on board, but alternative layouts are available.
While crawling out of the marina there is the occasional rumble from the engines – a reminder that the best is yet to come. As we reach open water, it is time to open up the throttle. At this point I decide to hold on to one of the Italian leather handles for dear life – but it’s unnecessary. The early purr of the engines merely transforms into a louder whir and the drum of the waves against the bullet-shaped hull is barely felt at all. “The hull rides on a cushion of air at planing speeds,” Campanino explains as we gather speed. Later, he tells me more about how the GRP hull and carbon fibre superstructure keep the centre of gravity low and the weight down to 24 tonnes. “The hull is 18ft wide [5.4m], made from composite material with rear wings and a three-step drive. It has all been made to improve her performance.”
The team behind the boat intended the driver to feel like a fighter pilot – and they seem to have pulled it off. I watch the captain confidently push the throttles further and soon we are feeling the full force of 58 knots, just shy of the 60-knot top speed. At this velocity, she needs to be fed 480 litres of fuel per hour, but when toned down to around 40 knots, her optimal cruising speed, she requires half that fuel.
Designed in the style of a car cockpit, the yacht’s helm completely integrates the navigation and control systems. The graphics and fonts on the screens here are the same as in the cars, Borkert says. “And it is all finished with Lamborghini’s Carbon Skin – even on the sports seats and the steering wheel,” he adds. Impressed, I point out that after our zig-zag route across the bay, barely two drops of seawater have splashed aboard. She really must’ve flown. After the ride, it is much easier to appreciate how the design, concept and engineering work together so well. And a fair few other Lamborghini fans seem to agree: although the yard will not confirm how many units have been sold, there are no build slots available until after 2022.
“We all know there is a strategic fit between super sports cars and fast superyachts,” says Stefano Rutigliano, Lamborghini’s strategy director. “At Lamborghini, we wanted to expand the brand and work with a yard with a good reputation, product range and financial solidity.” Well, everything seems to be going to plan. This time, the idea for a car and yacht crossover has amounted to something seriously special: the first Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 yacht is turning heads, generating plenty of orders and giving builders like The Italian Sea Group brand new ambitions.