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At 86 knots, enter the Cigarette - the world's fastest electric boat

by Gizmodo/Sail-World Cruising on 23 Feb 2013
Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Cigarette Racing Team
What do you do if you just love speed and the water, but would like to be environmentally friendly? A sailing boat is obviously out of the question, and so is your normal power boat. Enter the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive.

That's what happens when you transfuse the 2,200 HP electric drive train from the world's fastest and most powerful production electric car, the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, into a 38-foot racing hull. You end up with the world's fastest and most powerful production electric speed boat.

Dubbed the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive, this luxury speedboat was developed by Mercedes-AMG in collaboration with Cigarette Racing (together forming the AMGCR group) and recently debuted at the Miami International Boat Show.

It's based on Cigarette Racing's marquee Top Gun cigarette boat model and measures 38 feet long with an 8-foot beam, a 27-inch static draft, and dual 600 HP Mercury Racing 600 SCi inboard engines. Cigarette boats are small, fast ships with a long narrow platform, low center of gravity, and a planing hull. They were originally known as 'rum runners' in reference to their favored use during Prohibition.

The power train, however, is all Mercedes. The Top Gun's main electronic components including the electric motors, power electronics, high voltage batteries, and AMG Powertrain Controller (APC) were ported wholesale from the AMG SLS Coupe. On land, the AMG SLS is powered by a quartet of electric motors with a combined output of 740 HP and 727 foot-pounds of torque.

The Top Gun, however, packs triple the number of engines under its hood. A total of twelve 185 HP compact permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors are arranged into a pair of 6-engine clusters, each driving one of the boat's propeller shaft.

The World's Fastest Electric Boat Skims Over the Sea at 86 Knots. And even though the Top Gun's 240 kWh lithium-ion battery packs add an extra 4,840 lbs, they are situated low in the rear of the hull and the ship hardly seems to notice. With 2,210 foot-pounds of torque, it launches from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds and tops out at a blazing 155 KPH (86 knots).

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