“Seven engines wouldn’t fit?” The quip comes as we stand on the dock at the 2020 Miami Boat Show, staring at the back of a Cigarette Racing 59’ Tirranna AMG Edition boat as it reverses into its reserved berth. Six supercharged 4.6-liter Mercury Racing 450R V-8 outboard engines idle together, creating a pleasing low burble as the sleek craft inches towards us. The combined power? A whopping 2,700 horsepower, enough to get this monster hauling across the water at 80 miles an hour, while more than two dozen of your closest friends on-board shriek with glee.
The Tirranna is the largest boat Cigarette Racing has ever produced and, while it’s billed at a 59-footer, it’s 63 feet overall when accounting for those half-dozen engines. The “AMG” inclusion in the moniker comes from Mercedes-AMG; the two prodigious proponents of speed have enjoyed a 13-year collaboration that sees one-off pairings annually emerge. This year, a bespoke Mercedes-AMG G 63 SUV perches atop the dock next to the boat, emblazoned with Cigarette logos and a two-tone custom interior that matches the boat’s.
But the main focus is on the boat, a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship. Innovative lightweight construction abounds in the form of carbon fiber, composite laminates, and a nano-coated instrument panel that boasts titanium fasteners. Still, with more than 60 feet of boat to contend with, the Tirranna AMG Edition isn’t exactly lithe. “It’s 40,000 pounds without anyone on board,” says Bud Lorow, a champion boat racer who is a co-captain on our jaunt out of Key Biscayne into the Atlantic. “We’ve got 1,000 gallons of fuel and 13 people on board now, so we’re even heavier.”
Lorow sums up our vessel as “a comfortable, giant party boat,” which is apt. A 29-speaker, 5,200-watt JL Audio sound system keeps the hits blaring while iPads scattered throughout the deck allow for easy control. A summer kitchen in the rear of the boat boasts a grill, sink, food prep area, and storage for cooking up any fresh catches. Electronically-controlled tables can raise or lower in the front, and 7’ motorized awnings can extend to provide some shelter from the glaring sun. Though it’s only 9:45 a.m. when we slowly cruise the wake-zone before open waters, the boat’s good-time pathos leaves us craving a cold brew.
As we idle out under the causeway, Lorow shares that “if you’re cruising or you’re wide open, it’ll burn the same amount of fuel, about a half-mile per gallon.” That’s actually not a horrible MPG for a sea-faring machine—though it’ll cost you $4,000 to fill the tanks—and with the Tirranna’s 600-mile range (depending on throttle setting), you’ve got plenty of options for destinations. The immense physical footprint means the ride should be more sedate, even with rougher seas. Inquire about how well it’ll crush waves and Lorow dryly responds, “That depends on the passengers. The people are always the weak link. It’s rough out where we’re headed. But rough in this and rough in a little boat are two different things.”
We clear the causeway and Lorow and his co-captain do a visual check to ensure we’re all braced for a full-speed sprint. Someone chirps “shake and bake, baby!” and the throttle is opened wide. The prow leaps up and, from my position behind the center console and controls, all I see is sky as the boat gets on plane. The speedometer skips north in giant chunks, from 10 miles an hour up to 50. Knuckles whiten as we all intensify our clench onto handholds. We hit 60 and I remove my sunglasses, lest the blistering wind claims them.
Sixty-five arrives and I stick my face around the side of the center console, just to see what the blasting air feels like. It’s not terribly fun, with the wind sledgehammering your eyes shut and forcing your mouth slightly agape to swallow sufficient air to sate your lungs. Seventy registers on the speedo and, given the white-capped seas, that’s where the speedo remains. We are slamming through the waves though it’s rather calm compared to my imagination of this frenetic clip on a tumultuous ocean. I realize I’m bracing harder than I need to, given how well the 14-foot-wide Cigarette is gobbling up the chop.
The captain shouts that pushing harder, up to the 80-mph limit, would be considerably more bouncy, so we hold here. I gaze at the enormous wake our six engines are leaving and chuckle at the absurdity of this giant adventure toy. Lorow is accurate; this is both a party boat and comfortable at (nearly) full-tilt. The prow swings around as the throttle decreases, signifying our test ride at speed has ended. Miami’s shimmering skyline again comes into view. This one-of-one Cigarette-AMG hybrid rings the register at $3 million and it’s still available for sale. (Split it with 27 of your friends and it’s only $107,142 per person!) Whoever snaps it up is in for one helluva ride.
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