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From land to sea: Boats inspired by cars


We cover our fair share of automotive news and stories, but every now and then we discover a few Easter eggs that remind us how awesome and extensive the love for automotive culture stretches. Case in point, last week I came across an incredible powerboat build based on a Lamborghini Aventador 50th Anniversary edition. Not three weeks earlier did Cigarette Racing collaborate with Mercedes-AMG and Gran Turismo to create the ultimate race boat, so it felt appropriate to look at some other offshore speedsters that have taken cues from the land's best. It also gives us Canadians a chance to dream of warmer weather in the dead cold of winter.

Molinari Freccia Rossa “Ferrari F430”

In 2007, the Freccia Rossa, or Red Arrow, set two water speed records on Lake Como, Italy. Averaging 123.3 km/h over one kilometre in the 1,100 kg class, it also marked a record in the 1,450 kg class with an average speed of 122 km/h. How you ask? Power came from a Ferrari F430 V8, which was modified for water use and output a walloping 490 bhp and 343 lb-ft of torque.

Piloted by famed builder and racer Eugenio Molinari, the then-71-year-old dedicated the record runs to Ferrari's 60th anniversary and boss Luca di Montezemolo, bringing his list of world records to 72.

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Malibu Corvette Limited Edition Sport-V

I actually had the pleasure of discovering this boat years ago in Muskoka while it was transported on a matching red trailer with Corvette wheels. At first I thought it was a complete one-off custom, but in fact it is part of an ongoing relationship between Malibu Boats and Chevrolet. Malibu's design takes the best of everything Corvette and drops it right into a mid-prop, inboard sport boat. The interior offers a Corvette-like dash, wheel and leatherette seats, while the rear taillight section has been converted into exhaust vents for the engine.

The project has been so successful that Malibu has released three versions of the Corvette vessels over the past two decades, based on the C4, C5 and C6 – the latest of which comes in either a 400 horsepower Hammerhead 383 V8 “coupe” model or a 505 horsepower, 470 lb-ft LS7-equipped Z06 package. Yes.

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Donzi Classic 22 Shelby GT

Late designer, racer and Donzi owner Donald Aronow paid homage to the classic racing stripes of Carroll Shelby's Cobra and Mustang with the 22-foot Donzi Classic. The 22 Shelby GT came in either red/white and white/blue colour schemes and were powered by a 375 hp 496 Bravo engine or 425 horsepower 496 HO Mercruiser, which output 69.5 knots, or 128.7 km/h.

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Marine Technology, Inc. G6 “Aventaboat”

If you have cash to burn and a need for speed, you're probably going to feed your thrill-seeking desires. That's exactly what Gino Gargulio did, and we can hardly blame him. In fact, we'd like to thank him for building the closest thing to a 48-foot Lamborghini boat anyone could imagine. Dubbed the “Aventaboat,” the MTI G6 is retrofitted with a barrage of parts similar to Gargulio's 50th Anniversary limited edition LP720-4 Aventador, right down to the center console, Giallo Maggio yellow paint and rear taillights. It is also powered by a pair of $200,000 (USD) Mercury Racing 1350 engines... That's right, it's 2,700 hp.

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MTI 44RP “Ferrari F440”

Keeping with Italian-inspired wave racers, this MTI 44RP has an attention to detail like no other. It isn't powered by a Ferrari engine like the Freccia Rossa, but this “F440” is about the closest thing you'll get to a Ferrari boat. The tan leather interior is accompanied by a MOMO Ferrari wheel, authentic air vents and even a replica H-pattern shifter. The owner even recreated Ferrari's signature red valve covers for the two Mercruiser 1200 engines.

Dubbed the “most original MTI on the market,” this superboat is apparently Canadian owned and for sale. If you're interested, be prepared to shell out a cool $545,000 USD.

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MTI “Corvette ZR48”

So maybe the Malibu Corvette Sport-V feeds your Chevy love, but you want something more. Well, MTI is once again the platform for an extreme build – this time for the ZR48 – a $1.7 million, 48 foot stealth powerhouse built by Pier 57 in Tennessee. On first look, I though the interior photo was from the road-going 'Vette. It is perhaps the most impressive recreation I've ever seen. Not only does this thing look and act mean thanks to its two Mercury Racing 1350 twin turbo engines, it comes with a custom trailer that includes a generator, power washer, engine flush system and five televisions. If Batman were to own a boat, this would probably be it.

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Cigarette Racing AMG Electric Drive

Speedboat builders Cigarette Racing Team have collaborated with Mercedes-AMG on a number of projects, but if we have to choose two to focus on, this is definitely one of them. It is also the most cutting-edge of any of these examples from a technology standpoint, boasting a fully-electric powertrain in an appropriate highlighter yellow package. Each side of the engine bay contains symmetrically mounted engines consisting of six syncho motors with a power output of 185 bhp and 184 lb-ft of torque each, totaling 2,220 horses and 2213 lb-ft. Sound impressive? Well, the AMG badge isn't plastered on the side for just any reason. Each of these electric motors is taken directly from the 2014 SLS AMG Electric Drive.

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Cigarette Racing Vision GT Concept

The latest out of Cigarette's dry dock, the Vision GT Concept is a $1.5 million speedboat that was developed alongside the stunning, we-hope-it-makes-production AMG Vision GT car. Cigarette says the 50 footer is their most powerful production twin-engine performance boat yet, and that's saying quite a bit. Using twin 1650 Mercury engines (we're seeing a brand pattern here), the Vision GT pushes 300 horsepower more per engine than the company's Marauder, which paired to the lighter chassis, gives it a top speed of at least 225 km/h. Carbon and Alcantara trim, navigation and four HD displays come standard, but at these speeds, a six-point harness is really all we care about.

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