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Highways to high seas: The coolest yachts by car designers
Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63
Born out of a partnership between The Italian Sea Group and Automobili Lamborghini, this 19.2 metre yacht combines lightweight yacht design with supercar expertise for a thrilling ride on the water. Inspired by the customisable, hybrid Lamborghini Siàn FKP 37, The Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 is powered by pair of MAN V12-2000hp engines, and with a top speed of 60 knots, is the fastest model in the Tecnomar fleet.
The sports car-inspired pocket-superyacht has a sporty silhouette featuring an aerodynamic hardtop, while interiors are characterised by clean lines, hexagonal shapes and Italian-made materials. From the engine start buttons to the helm, the cockpit draws heavily on automobile design. Available in a wide range of custom colours and materials, the Tecnomar for Lamborghini 63 references the year in which the supercar brand was first established and marks its first foray into yachting world.
Multiple premium car brands have revealed a high-profile yachting collaboration in recent years. We round up some of the most prominent examples from around the world starting with Salomé Yachts' Atlantic tender.
Fresh from the boards of sports car designer Etienne Salomé, the golden Atlantic tender has been named in homage to the Bugatti T57SC Atlantic, "the most beautiful classic sports car of all time", according to Salomé. The French designer has drawn on his experience of designing for the likes of Bugatti, Mazda and Renault. Atlantic features a “revolutionary flow-through hull concept inspired by formula one aerodynamics”. The hull allows air to flow through the yacht, increasing stability and reducing drag. Elsewhere, the tender features Garmin glass cockpit, optional self-docking technology and a “distinct sporty character”.
Axopar Brabus Shadow 800
Launched at the 2018 Düsseldorf boat show, this fresh collaboration sees the Finnish dayboat specialist team up with the German car tuning brand that has worked with Mercedes-Benz for more than 40 years. The result is an 11.2 metre speed machine that is being limited to an initial run of 20 hulls, with the first one due to serve as a chase boat for a 40 metre superyacht.
Brabus founder Bodo Buschmann explained that this project is the borne of a lifelong passion for yachting: "I'm a boat owner at heart, my family has always been boat owners. Driving a big yacht today is like driving a big house — there's no thrill in it. We want to reinvent luxury dayboating."
The superyacht ethos has certainly influenced this project as each Axopar Brabus Shadow 800 will be fitted with a 45-inch LG TV, leather seats made by Brabus and lashings of carbon fibre to finish off the look. Best of all, owners can expect exhilarating performance at speeds in excess of 50 knots thanks to a pair of 400hp Mercury Racing outboard engines.
Riva Ferrari 32
The 9.92 metre Riva Ferrari 32 is another great example of an automotive brand teaming up with a yachting expert. The two Italian icons joined forces in the early 1990s to build a limited-edition run of 40 speedboats capable of speeds in excess of 50 knots, powered by a pair of 390hp V8 engines. This design seems to have enduring appeal too, as a 1990 Riva Ferrari 32 was valued at €180,000 for a Sotheby's auction in Monaco last year.
The 11.1 metre Aston Martin AM37 has been created in partnership with Quintessence Yachts. Following years of research and development, the first powerboat to bear the famous Aston Martin wings was given a public debut at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show.
From a company that has provided cars for James Bond, it is only fitting that the AM37 is both state-of-the-art and super fast. Twin 520hp Mercury Racing petrol engines propel the S version to a top speed in excess of 50 knots.
The Aston Martin speedboat features an innovative sliding hardtop made from carbon fibre and a host of on-board computer technologies. The air-conditioning, fridge and espresso machine can all be turned on remotely, while a 15-inch touchscreen panel and an interactive voice control system run the boat's navigation and entertainment systems.
Configurable yacht specialist Dynamiq made no secret of its automotive inspiration when the yard launched its debut superyacht, Jetsetter in 2016. The innovative company allows buyers to pick and choose fixtures and fittings from an online configuration, as you would when speccing out a luxury car. So for its sophomore superyacht, it should come as little surprise that Dynamiq has teamed up with one of the biggest names in the automotive industry — Porsche.
The result is the 35 metre Dynamiq GTT 115, a sporty 21 knot all-aluminium cruiser that boasts a 3,400 nautical mile range that will see you across the Atlantic on one tank of fuel. Roland Heiler, managing director of Studio F.A. Porsche, said: "Taking the spirit of high-performance sportscar styling to the high seas, the Dynamiq GTT 115 is designed to appeal to car lovers and forward-thinking yacht owners who appreciate the advantages of speed, style and our philosophy of intelligent performance."
Recently showcased at the Monaco Yacht Show 2017, the Dynamiq GTT 115 is hull number 1 in a limited edition of seven Porsche Design yachts.
One of the earliest yacht and luxury car collaborations, 31.24 metre Motali was launched in 1993 by Turkish yard Yonca. Her designer Alfonso Albaisa has worked on several high-profile automotive projects, such as the Infiniti Q60 and Nissan Juke, but the brief from the Turkish client was challenging nonetheless, as he wanted "a vessel like no other".
Speaking after a recent encounter with Motali, Albaisa explained his inspiration: "It was clear from the beginning that the most important thing was to create something truly beautiful. That’s why I designed it with a bullet-like expression and with romantic tapering at the stern that tumbles inwards, similar to the classic vessels of the 1950s.”
Built from a GRP hull and superstructure, Motali has the performance to back up her sporty styling, with twin 1,400hp MTU diesel engines delivering a top speed of 35 knots. Meanwhile her interior by Art-Line and Rincklake Van Endert, can accommodate up to eight guests and six crewmembers.
Lexus Sport Yacht
Lexus is at an immediate advantage as its parent company Toyota is already a big player in the Japanese motor yacht market. The 12.7 metre Lexus Sport Yacht is every inch as stylish, athletic and luxurious as you’d expect from the premium motoring brand, with its flowing lines evoking the Lexus LFA supercar.
Power comes from a pair of 440hp Lexus V8 engines for a top speed of 43 knots while there is enough seating space for eight guests to enjoy the ride. The proof-of-concept prototype (pictured above) was built by the Marquis-Carver Yacht Group in Wisconsin, however, Lexus sadly has no plans to put the Sport Yacht into mass production.
As the brains behind the Fisker Automotive luxury electric car brand, Henrik Fisker is no stranger to innovation, as his 50 metre superyacht concept for Italian yard Benetti shows. The dramatic Benetti Fisker 50 design was unveiled earlier this year to widespread industry acclaim, with strong feature lines on all three decks that take the shape of a regressing wave. The innovation continues inside with a fireplace in the owner's cabin and a cinema room that can be easily converted into a superyacht gym.
The 14 metre Arrow 460 Granturismo is modelled on the legendary Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows racing cars that dominated motorsport in the 1930s.
Silver Arrows Marine joined forces with Mercedes-Benz Style to create this unique boat that hit the water in spring 2016. It proved to be such a bit hit that Finnish carbon fibre specialist Baltic Yachts has been signed up to put the Mercedes-Benz speedboat into mass production.