By Thomas Shambler
The Arrow 460-Granturismo is no ordinary speedboat. It's been put together by the engineering boffs at Mercedes-Benz and has more than a little 'car' about it
For those familiar with the Cote d'Azur, seeing one of the world's largest or most luxurious superyachts is commonplace. The region plays holiday home to some of the world's richest men and women (as well as their toys). You'll often find the likes of Roman Abramovich's Eclipse (at 162-metres, it's the second largest yacht in length) or HRH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Azzam (the world's biggest superyacht at 180-metres) moored at one of the marinas.
Ordinarily, a little 14-metre vessel would have little hope of taking attention away from these behemoths of the sea, however, on its recent maiden voyage, a relatively tiny boat did just that. It was the Arrow460-Grandturismo that took the lion's share of glances last month. The Mercedes-Benz-designed stunner was inspired by the carmaker's classic racing car, the Silver Arrow.
Only ten models will be produced, and each will be sold in a different country to limit the chances of two owners spotting each other in the same marina. The price of this exclusivity? US$1.7 million for each of the Edition 1 models.
Those lucky enough to step aboard the sleek Arrow460 are in for a luxurious treat. The boat can fit up to 10 passengers, and it looks as good inside as it does out. Interiors are lined with nubuck leather and smooth eucalyptus wood, with amenities including an advanced audio system and wine cellar. And should the sun's glare be too harsh for your guests – or you require privacy – the windows can be dimmed instantly electronically.
The Arrow460-Grandturismo is powered by a pair of Yanmar diesel engines, with 480 horsepower each. That's enough to hit speeds of 40 knots on steady seas. Speaking at the launch of its first boat, vice president of design for Daimler AG Gorden Wagener said, "In developing the new motor yacht, we have transferred our expertise to the marine industry, creating something never before seen in the process".
The Arrow460-Grandturismo isn't Mercedes' first foray outside of cars. In 2011 the company launched the EC145, a Mercedes-Benz styled helicopter, with customisable interiors and similar features to its S and E class automobiles. Most recently, Mercedes-Benz partnered with Lufthansa to design VIP cabins for private jets.