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Double Trouble

THE MERCEDES-AMG Project One was a hypercar with no comparison — until Cigarette Racing unveiled the 515 Project ONE powerboat.

From what I could tell, there was nothing wrong with the Mercedes-AMG Project One. In its debut last year, the F1-inspired concept car had gorgeous bodywork to ogle, including an air intake mounted on

the cabin roof that came complete with a fin. Word was that the Project One could summon more than 1,000 horsepower, punching from a standing start to 124 mph in 6 seconds. Let me write that slower. Six. Seconds. A car — sorry, hypercar — like this didn’t need anything to complement it, right? How would you even complement something like this?

By taking its design to the water, that’s how. There, making its debut at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show in February, was the 515 Project ONE powerboat by Cigarette Racing. In case you missed the resemblance, a full-scale model of the Mercedes-AMG Project One was on display on the docks (how they got it there I have no idea). It certainly did its job reminding everyone of the shared design inspiration: both car and boat were outfitted in matching matte black and silver paint.

If you think this is the first partnership between the two racing companies, think again. The two have

collaborated on a bevy of floating fantasies inspired by AMG-branded autos. Last year witnessed the debut

of the GT R-inspired, 50-foot GT R Marauder to celebrate AMG’s 50th anniversary. How do you top that? By taking inspiration from what Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management at Mercedes-AMG, described as the “most ambitious and awe-inspiring vehicle yet.”

While the similarities between the $2.8-million hypercar and the $2-million special-edition powerboat

aren’t easily determined — beyond a need for delirious speeds on water and land — trust me, they exist. Namely: carbon fiber. That lightweight but strong material is used liberally in both car and boat. Such technological advancements, even in a year’s time, give the 515 Project ONE — 51’5” in length, with an increased beam of 9’6” — 30 percent greater surface area than that of the 50-foot Marauder, while still providing similar performance and an exhilarating 140-mph top speed. Kevlar and E-glass are used copiously from stem to stern as well.

The Cigarette Racing Team worked closely with Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer for Daimler AG, Mercedes-AMG’s parent company, to design the hallmark characteristics of the boat. Such close attention to detail extends inside the cabin, with extensive use of Dinamica upholstery — ultra-light, high-strength microfiber used in the Project One hypercar — and seatbacks constructed of exposed-weave carbon fiber.

“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,” says Skip Braver, CEO of Cigarette Racing.

Compared to last year’s Marauder, the beamier 515 Project ONE adds an additional seat, allowing six passengers to be comfortably seated when blasting across the open ocean. Powering the boat is a pair of Mercury Racing 1,550-horsepower engines.

Also featured are Cigarette’s signature aggressive shoulders, which rise in the rear of the boat and allow the integration of a large sun cushion on the flat exposed-weave carbonfiber hatch — despite the tall engines beneath — for the person who doesn’t just want to go fast but also wants to catch some sun.

That might be the only place to get burned on this boat, because there isn’t much out there that’s keeping up with this water-bound rocket. But on land? The Project One, which has a top speed of 217 mph, can certainly give it a run for its money. What a pair.

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