It's Miami International Boat Show time again, which means it's time to take a look at the latest collaboration between Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing. This year's 41-foot AMG Carbon Edition is a four-motor, 1,600-horsepower, 83 mph ocean rocket with a carbon fiber sandwich construction.
Once beloved of drug runners, bootleggers, smugglers and ne'er-do-wells who used them to out-run the US Coast Guard on dodgy missions between Columbia and the Florida Keys, go-fast cigarette boats are now more of a high performance status symbol for the well-heeled horsepower junkie.
There's no official line on why exactly these things are called cigarette boats – perhaps it's because they're long, thin and bad for your health when too much air gets under their lightweight hulls at high speeds. But Cigarette Racing has owned the name since its inception in the mid-60s and is now America's leading brand in the category. 2019 marks 12 years of collaboration between Cigarette and Mercedes-AMG as a joint marketing exercise, which has resulted in the creation of some ferociously fast and impressive machines.
This year's boat is "inspired by" the AMG GT 4-door Coupe – essentially a fast, classy family car rather than anything more unhinged like the Project One supercar, which spawned last year's 3,100-horsepower, 140 mph widowmaker. So by the company's own standards, the 41-foot AMG Carbon Edition is a little on the tame side.
It uses four Mercury Racing 400 hp outboard motors to produce its 1,600-horsepower peak output. It's got a lightweight sandwich-structure laminated frame, and liberal application of carbon fiber including the entire deck, rudder, roof lining and hardtop, which reduces the weight by some 500 pounds (226.8 kg) compared to Cigarette's 2017 GT R performance boat.
Top speed is 83 mph (134 km/h), and at that speed the AMG Carbon Edition can carry 8 passengers. Back it off to a cruising speed and you can squeeze 20 people onto the "Cigarette Cool" seats, which are designed to reflect as much as 30 percent of the absorbed heat as a way of preventing too many rosy cheeks down below.
The cockpit is as excessive as you'd expect, with no less than three 17-inch HD Garmin displays handling everything from dash and navigation duties to full control over the onboard mood lighting.
The boat, and its matching car, are on display this week in Miami. It's probably best considered a concept boat, but Cigarette will probably make one for you if you want it.
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