Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Made a 26-Person Speedboat. We Took a (Very Fast) Ride
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Does the world need a 59-foot Cigarette Racing Team boat with 2,700 horsepower that’ll hit 80 miles an hour while carrying 26 people?
“Absolutely,” retorts Skip Braver, barely a millisecond after hearing my question. Braver, the CEO of Cigarette Racing, is standing beside me on a dock at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show watching his latest — and largest-ever — creation idle toward us.
“This is revolutionary,” Braver says. “It’s about pushing the boundaries…but sensibly.”
One glance at the rear of the Cigarette Racing Team 59’ Tirranna AMG Edition, though, and you’ll ponder how Braver’s definition of “sensible” differs from your own. Six (!) supercharged 4.6-liter V-8 Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines grace the back of the sinister vessel. At full gallop, the half-dozen engines consume a half-gallon of fuel per mile as they use every ounce of energy possible to rocket the 2,700-horsepower, 40,000-pound boat across the whitecaps.
Filling the fuel tank, by the way, will set you back a cool $4,000. Braver likes to jest that if you think you can’t afford a Cigarette Racing boat, you definitely can’t afford a Cigarette Racing boat. The sticker price of this particular beauty, by the way? $3.3 million.
Though Cigarette will build other 59-foot Tirranna boats (the etymology of the name: it’s an Australian aboriginal word that translates to “running waters”), this particular unit is a one-off, the latest in a 13-year partnership with Mercedes-AMG that’s seen the boatmaker whip up frequent homages to the German performance brand’s vehicles.
Those homages go both ways, too. Atop the dock beside the Tirranna, a Mercedes-AMG G63 Cigarette Edition SUV glistens in the Florida sun, with special 22-inch gold forged rims, darkened chrome brightwork, and a two-tone interior featuring bespoke leather colors that mirror the seats and interior of the boat. While AMG contributes nothing mechanically to the boat, those same AMG design principles spotted in the G are evident on the exterior and interior.
Cigarette approached the Tirranna’s fabrication with the same meticulous and rigorous engineering standards that the wizards of Affalterbach bring to each AMG. The hull and deck are vacuum-infused with a composite laminate; carbon fiber abounds, from the transom to the stringers to the raked hardtop above the center console; titanium fasteners keep everything together. The electrical wiring harnesses took four months to complete.
“All six engines are controlled by two levers,” Braver says. “I didn’t want it to look like a 1938 warplane in the cockpit.”
On the open sea, we loose the Tirranna’s six outboards and begin to white-knuckle over whitecaps, though the 14-foot wide boat handily laps up the chop. It’s a smooth affair — an incongruous sensation aboard a boat firing across the Atlantic at 70-plus miles an hour. It feels civilized; fast as hell, sure, but you acclimate quickly once you settler into a plush seat and soak in the moment.
We briefly stop to showcase a $100,000 feature: a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer. This 600-pound unit, operated via a console touchscreen, employs the bow and stern thrusters to instantly decrease the boat’s roll by up to 80 percent. Disengaged, my breakfast begins sloshing around, edging me toward nausea; engaged, you can balance on one foot while decently-sized waves assault the boat.
Five non-AMG Tirranna iterations are spoken for, though this unit remains available. (The only thing quicker than his boats may be Braver’s wit: “If you talk to me nicely, I’ll sell you the boat and that G63 as a package,” he smirks.) Inquire as to the type of potential buyer for such a machine, and Braver says, “Not the showoff guys. This isn’t a Lamborghini. It’s classy. It’s for people who like the lifestyle and want to enjoy time with friends and family.”
And someone who likes sensibility, too.
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