by Bob Wonders
There are high-performance boats - There are muscle boats - And there is Cigarette
Cigarette Racing Team's incredible AMG going through its paces off Miami.
Cigarette Racing Team, to give the manufacturer its full name, is arguably the best-known name worldwide in the field of fast boats.
Only a few products can boast names which have virtually become a generic term; many four-wheel drive vehicles are referred to as ‘Jeeps’; all manner of blue jeans are known as ‘Levis’ and to the uninitiated if a boat is long, low, sleek and very fast it must surely be a Cigarette!
Established 42-years ago by the late Don Aronow, the so-called ‘Godfather’ of offshore powerboat racing, the Cigarette Racing Team has lifted its game to an even loftier level since being acquired by its current owner and CEO Skip Braver in 2002.
A new production facility just north of Miami, Florida, new and extremely innovative models and a dedicated dealer network have all combined to keep Cigarette Racing Team ‘top of the heap.’
At rhe 2010 Miami International Boat Show I was fortunate to see one of the company’s latest creations, the fabulous Cigarette 46’ Rider inspired by the equally fabulous Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG ‘Gullwing’ wing coupe’.
To see the AMG Cigarette alongside the fantastic Gullwing coupe’ was a sight to see, let me tell you.
For those who may not be aware, AMG is a wholly-owned Mercedes-Benz subsidiary specialising in high-performance cars.
The letters stand for the surnames of the two men Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher who, in 1967, established a racing engine forge at Grisbach, near Stuttgart., hence A (Aufrecht) M (Melcher) and G (Grisbach).
Airborne! No problem, just tweak the throttles to bring her back down and blast away.
Simply put, the Cigarette 46 Rider was inspired by the superb AMG gull wing, a recreation, if you will, of the legendary 300SL Gullwing of 1954, in its time the world’s fastest production car.
According to Cigarette’s Skip Braver the idea to enhance one of the company’s most desirable models in AMG style stemmed from mutual respect and joint product admiration.
Skip certainly makes no secret of his passion for the Mercedes marque.
AMG provided both manufacturing expertise and materials to produce this most unique Cigarette.
The Cigarette features hand-applied AMG ‘Alubeam’ silver paintwork (as used on the coupe’), a process exclusive to AMG which covers the surface like a metallic skin.
It targets light reflections which further emphasises exterior character lines and design details that make the boat such a standout.
Now, there’s an old saying in journalism that one does not use words that one does not understand the meaning of, so I’m about to break that rule for here is a work totally unfamiliar to me, ‘nanotechnology’.
Apparently, this means the unique finish applied to the Cigarette’s hull that imbeds tiny pigments of colour, measuring just 30 to 50 ‘nanometres’.
The ‘Alubeam’ silver is contrasted with AMG mystic white metallic in what is described as a 'bold design' echoing the Mercedes-AMG logo.
This is carried through internally, with this classic Cigarette featuring top rated marine grade upholstery that resembles the two-tone AMG porcelain and white Nappa leather offered in the Gullwing coupe’.
While it is true that many influences taken from the AMG Gullwing can be seen externally, the true benefits of this unique cooperation are more obvious below the surface.
From the propulsion system to the rigging, the Cigarette AMG Rider serves as a virtual ‘technology showcase’ for Cigarette Racing Team with more than 100 innovations incorporated.
A ‘clean sheet’ approach was taken to build this incredible boat.
Needless to say, it’s far more than just a ‘pretty face’ it’s an eye-watering performer thanks to a pair of Mercury Racing’s 1350hp stern drive engines.
These dual 552 cubic inch, V8 engines deliver their maximum ‘grunt’ at 6500 rpm and give the Cigarette AMG Rider better than 130mph (210km/hr).
A pair of Mercury stainless steel propellers, 17.5 inch diameter, 34 inch pitch, transmit the power to the water.
I guess you’re curious now as to how much a boat like this costs?
Well, Cigarette Racing Team does not usually talks about prices, simply because every Cigarette is customised to the demands of a buyer.
With Cigarette what you order is what you get.
Nevertheless, I would not contemplate becoming the owner of a Cigarette AMG Rider without an extremely friendly bank manager.
I would be very surprised if there was change from $1 million or so.
Anyway, for those with the desire and the money to attain such a level of boating and become the owner of one of these ‘magical’ craft, here’s the good news – they go on sale in May.
If you buy one, I’d be more than happy to accept your kind invitation to come for a blast.
For further information visit the website, www.cigaretteracing.com
Mercury Racing's revolutionary 1350hp V8, four valves per cylinder, 6500rpm, 130mph-plus for the AMG Cigarette.