Mercedes-AMG Hypercar-Inspired Cigarette Racing 515 Project One Is a Seafaring Fantasy ""

By | February 15, 2018

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Automakers and boat builders don’t often mix, unless we’re talking about Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing, which have been working together since 2007. Indeed, AMG and CR mix it up to bring some form of floating fantasy inspired by an AMG-branded product—real or imagined—to the annual Miami International Boat Show each February. Past efforts include an SLS-inspired 46-foot speedboat in 2010, a G63-inspired Huntress, a Cigarette AMG Electric Drive concept in 2013, and last year’s incredible 3100-hp Mercedes-AMG GT R–inspired 50-foot GT R Marauder that celebrated AMG’s 50th anniversary. How to top that? With this year’s marine masterpiece: the Cigarette Racing 515 Project One.

As its name implies, the 515 Project One was inspired by Mercedes-AMG’s recently revealed $2.7 million Project One hypercar, essentially a Formula 1 car with fenders. Like the GT R Marauder, the 515 Project One is not powered by AMG-built engines but by a pair of Mercury Racing V-8s churning out 1550 horsepower apiece, mounted in a staggered arrangement in the engine bay. The speedboat is 51 feet, five inches in length, about the same as last year’s beastly five-seat GT R Marauder, but with its nine-and-a-half-foot beam, it’s nearly two feet wider, allowing it to seat six.


In spite of the additional breadth, the intensive use of Kevlar, carbon fiber, and “E-glass” from stem to stern helped keep weight below 14,000 pounds, according to Mercedes-AMG, compared with 14,200 pounds for last year’s GT R Marauder. The carbon-fiber air intakes are more than seven feet long and 14 inches wide yet weigh just 4.4 pounds each. Carbon fiber is also used for the deck, the inner structural laminate of the hull, the forward bulkheads, the cabin liner, the engine hatch, the consoles, and the storage hatches. With smooth seas and favorable winds, the 515 Project One is said to achieve a top speed of 140 mph. That’s considerably less than the 217-mph top end of the Project One hypercar, but then, CR’s 515 Project One features a large sun cushion over the engine bay for relaxation when the boat is stationary. No chance of that with its four-wheeled counterpart.

If you’re wondering what Cigarette Racing’s 515 Project One actually has in common with the ground-bound Project One, well, they both have a matte black and silver paint job, carbon fiber throughout their respective structures, and lots of Dinamica upholstery. Perhaps most significant are the companies’ racing heritage and proven competencies in making their respective production vehicles go really fast.

“Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing both have racing as part of their DNA, which makes us natural partners to work together to continue to push the limits of design and high performance,” said Skip Braver, CEO of Cigarette Racing.

Cigarette Racing says it could build around half a dozen 515 Project Ones at a price of about $2 million each, which makes this the first AMG/CR boat to cost less than the production car that inspired it.

C/D’s Ezra Dyer recently characterized a 41-foot AMG-branded Cigarette boat in which he was cruising the Florida Keys as “strictly a branding exercise” and “an 85-mph AMG billboard,” and called partnerships between Mercedes-Benz/Mercedes-AMG and non-automotive companies like Cigarette Racing an effort of an automaker to stay relevant in the face of automation and electrification, forces that threaten to homogenize the automotive market. That may prove to be the case, but for car geeks who may be in line to purchase one of the 275 Project One hypercars Mercedes-AMG will produce beginning in the latter half of 2019, the token AMG touches may be sufficient to justify springing for the matched pair.




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