By Matt Trulio
Mercedes-Benz Museum Displays Electric Cigarette Performance Boat
The German automotive giant and iconic U.S. boatbuilder collaborate on a forward-thinking design concept.
When the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive 38′ Top Gun was unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show early in 2013, it made a big splash for Cigarette Racing Team. A collaborative “project boat” effort between the Opa-Locka, Fla., custom powerboat company and Mercedes AMG, the 38-footer was outfitted with the same lithium-ion batteries and electric motors—not to mention the same color—used in and on the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive luxury automobile.
After the Miami show, however, the boat seemed to all but disappear from the public the eye. But recently it re-emerged in high style on display next to the car that inspired it at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. When the exhibit concludes, the boat will begin a promotional tour that includes being showcased at various Mercedes-AMG events and boat shows in Europe throughout 2014.
No one more is more excited about the exhibit and the upcoming events at which the boat will be displayed in the coming year than Skip Braver, the owner and chief executive officer of Cigarette Racing Team. He said he believes that this is the first time a product other than something specifically from Mercedes-Benz has ever been displayed at the museum.
“Daimler is a mountain range, AMG is a peak, and Cigarette is a rock on the ground,” said Braver. “It’s simply incredible that they are so proud of the technology, the product and our collaboration, that they are displaying it in front of the Mercedes Museum for two months. People come from all over Europe to visit that museum.
“What other boat manufacturer has done anything like this?” he continued. “It puts Cigarette above any boat maker in the United States. It’s not about me. It’s about the products we make. It’s real, and the collaboration is real.”
While the 38-footer will receive plenty of exposure in the coming months on land, none of it will be on the water. That, according to Braver, was not the point of the joint project.
“It was a design study,” said Braver. “It’s not about an ‘electric boat,’ it’s about what two companies—a big one and a small one—can do together. It’s about opening up other avenues of technology. Cigarette is going to be on the cutting edge of that technology.”
Editor’s Note: To read the complete story on Cigarette AMG Electric Drive 38′ Top Gun, download the May/June issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine (PDF file).
- Matt Trulio is the co-publisher and editor in chief of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site with a weekly newsletter and a new bi-monthly digital magazine that covers the high-performance powerboating world. The former editor-in-chief of Sportboat magazine and editor at large of Powerboat magazine, Trulio has covered the go-fast powerboat world since 1995. Since joining boats.com in 2000, he has written more than 200 features and blogs.
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