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On Land and Sea: Automotive Brands and their Motor, Sail Boats

Photo: Volvo
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Guillaume Rivard
The competition extends on to the water

Some automotive brands don’t just leave their mark on the asphalt but dip their toes – and their design expertise - in the water. Touching on everything from luxurious sailboats to high-performance motorboats, and in large-scale international events as in humble excursions on the water, their expertise is surprising and remarkable.

Summertime. ‘Tis the season for vacationers to get in their watercraft and raise the anchor, and offers you a look at some boats that will make you dream…


For the past decade, Mercedes-AMG has partnered with the Cigarette Racing team to design high-performance, high-speed motorboats. Unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show this past February, the 50-foot Marauder AMG was inspired by the breathtaking Mercedes-AMG GT R sport coupe.

Mercedes is also the creative force behind the sublime Arrow460 Granturismo:

Porsche’s design studio and the Dynamiq naval shipyard have teamed up to create a first, 35-foot luxury model, sporting a number of automotive characteristics. Only seven of the Dynamiq 115 GTT super-yacht will be built, and each will sell for 12 million Euros (around $17.6 million).

Here’s the Niniette 66 boat, courtesy of yacht-maker Palmer Johnson in collaboration with Italian luxury carmaker Bugatti. Named in honour of the automaker’s founder Ettore Bugatti, the 20-metre carbon-fibre boat looks strikingly like the new Bugatti Chiron.

Photo: Bugatti

Toyota is a big player in the Japanese yacht market. This Lexus-brand sport-model prototype is as stylish, luxurious and nimble as the LFA supercar.

Aston Martin is famous most of all for its James Bond-driven cars, but last year, the British automaker became a boat designer with the unveiling of the AM37 concept boat, developed in partnership with Quintessence Yachts and powered by two 520-hp motors.


Its famous Ocean Race makes Volvo without a doubt the most visible automotive brand on the water. The 2017-2018 edition will depart from Alicante in Spain and circle the globe before reaching the finish line in The Hague in the Netherlands. The Volvo Ocean 65 sailboats are perfect amalgams of art, science, architecture and shipbuilding.

Taking part in the Vendée Globe, Mercedes-Benz and navigator Alex Thomson of the Hugo Boss team are a fearsome partnership on the water, as they proved with their second-place finish in the 2017 edition of the event:

Land Rover had its own team (Land Rover BAR), led by former champion Sir Ben Ainslie, in the 2017 edition of the America’s Cup catamaran race, which took place this spring in Bermuda. Though victory eluded the team this time, it already plans on returning next year.

BMW is the technological partner of the Oracle Team USA team that also participates in the America’s Cup race. Is the maker of the “Ultimate Driving Machine” set to create the “Ultimate Sailing Machine”?

Lastly, we should not forget tire manufacturer Pirelli, which has partnered with the winners of the 2017 America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand.

Guillaume Rivard
Guillaume Rivard
Automotive expert