For more than a decade, Mercedes and Cigarette Racing have been creating some cross-industry synergy, a collaboration that has resulted in eight special edition boats inspired by Mercedes sports cars. There have been some superlative machines, including the AMG Electric Drive Concept and the GT S Concept, and now that Mercedes-AMG is busy building its most advanced hypercar of all time, it follows that the ninth team-up boat is just as cutting edge. With 3,100-hp of Mercury Racing engine might and a carbon fiber and Kevlar-heavy build, the 51-foot (15.5-m) 515 Project One can slice through the water at speeds up to 140 mph (225 km/h). It's like an F1 race car for the open seas.
Who said you have to wait for a supercar to be fully prepared before building a boat in its honor? Mercedes-AMG revealed a Project One concept car at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. The car won't start rolling out to buyers until next year, but the show car was clearly enough to get the Cigarette folks moving on their own Project One, a potent powerboat revealed this week at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show.
The 515 Project One measures 51 ft 5 in (15.7 m) long and has a widened 9.5-foot (2.9-m) beam, providing enough room to keep six people comfy. The boat has 30 percent more surface area than Cigarette's 50-foot (15.2-m) Marauder while offering comparable performance.
The Mercedes-AMG inspiration behind the 515 is much more than just a silver-and-black paint job, as the boat went through a full lightweighting regimen. The weight-optimized composite structure makes strategic use of carbon fiber, Kevlar and E-glass. The entire deck is crafted from carbon fiber, which not only saves weight but also lowers the center of mass. The inner structural laminate of the hull, forward bulkheads, cabin liner, engine hatch, consoles and storage hatches also feature carbon fiber construction. Kevlar enhances the strength of the tabbing bulkheads and framing edges.
Cigarette says that despite being 10 extra feet (3 m) of boat, the 515 actually weighs about 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) less than 2016's Mercedes-inspired Miami boat, the 41-foot SD GT3.
As usual, Cigarette worked with Mercedes design mastermind Gorden Wagener to properly mold its special edition boat in the image of the Mercedes car at hand. The boat's matte black and silver paint and hull badging tie directly into the Project One car, though we do think they should have also brightened the flanks with that little Petronas-green wave of energy that features on Mercedes' Frankfurt show car. On board, the boat wears an exposed carbon fiber weave on its seat backs and Dinamica microfiber trim.
"By directly translating Formula 1 technology from the track to the street, the Mercedes-AMG Project One is our most ambitious and awe-inspiring vehicle yet," says Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG GmbH chairman of the board of management. "It is incredible to see our vision reimagined for the water in such an impressive and highly compelling form."
The boat also includes a race-style cabin with custom forward bed, a dual-compartment cooler, LED lighting, custom-fitted cabin and cockpit carpet, dual 12-in Garmin 8212 navigation touchscreens, a carbon fiber gauge cluster, shore power and a JL Audio sound system.
With the 2013 AMG E-Drive boat, Cigarette followed Mercedes' alternative powertrain ambitions, but the 515 Project One doesn't attempt to employ any of the Project One car's innovative hybrid drive technology, instead relying on the power of dual Mercury Racing 1,350/1,550-hp Quad Cam 4 Valve engines and M8 stern drives. A staggered engine configuration deeper in the vee of the boat helps to lower center of gravity, increase stability and improve dynamics.
Though there's no electric power, the engines have an electronically adjustable dual-calibration feature. Race Mode unlocks the full 1,550 hp of each engine, requiring race fuel, while Pleasure Mode limits output to 1,350 hp running on 91 octane fuel.
The Cigarette 515 Project One can be seen at the Miami boat show, which opened on Thursday and runs through Monday. It's billed as a one-of-a-kind creation, but Cigarette will offer pricing information upon request.
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