Whether you love or hate go-fast powerboats—and I have a good idea where most of the sailing folks fall on that topic—their builders always create some of the most outrageous and memorable displays at the annual Miami International Boat Show.
This year’s Miami event was no exception for high-performance powerboat exhibitors. In fact, you could even call it exceptional thanks to three boat-and-car combos.
For my money, the hands-down best exhibit of the entire show—not just for performance boatbuilders but for all builders who came to Miami—was the Cigarette Racing Team display. In recent years, the iconic Opa-Locka, Fla., builder has partnered with Mercedes-Benz AMG to come up with some wild pairings, such as last year’s electric boat-and-sports coupe duo. But this year, Cigarette and Mercedes AMG simply outdid themselves with a side-by-side unveiling of the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept Car with a 577-hp V-8 engine, and the Cigarette 50′ Vision GT Concept Marauder, powered by twin Mercury Racing quad-overhead cam, 1,650-hp turbocharged engines. On a wow-factor scale of 1 to 10, this one was, to borrow from the movie “Spinal Tap,” an 11.
Right next door and in a close second place was the Marine Technology, Inc. exhibit, with a yellow 48-foot catamaran, also powered by Mercury Racing 1650 engines, color-matched to a yellow Lamborghini. Actually, to call the two exotic vehicles “color-matched” does a disservice to both of them. Built to commemorate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary luxury sportscar called the LP720-4 50° ANNIVERSARIO, the spectacular 48-footer is the first with the Wenztville, Mo., custom builder’s restyled deck. The owner of the cat and the car, Gino Gargiulo, who began his foray into automobile “theme boats” with his well-known Mercedes MTI cat, is one lucky dude.
Performance-oriented center-consoles are still hot with go-fast boat buyers, so it was only fitting that a top-flight builder such as Midnight Express deliver the goods at its exhibit with a boat-and-car combo. The Hollywood, Fla., builder paired its sexy new 39S center-console with an equally sexy and color-matched Lamborghini. The combination was a knockout, and with quad 300-hp Mercury Marine Verado outboards on the transom the boat reportedly tops 85 mph, making it the fastest center-console on the market.