► Bugatti name licenced to yacht builder Palmer Johnson
► Design to pay homage to classic Bugatti car proportions
► £1.5m minimum, three sizes, lots of titanium and carbon
Looking for something else to spend those millions on while you wait for Bugatti to unveil its new Chiron hypercar at the 2016 Geneva motor show? Then today is a good day, as the firm has announced a new partnership with luxury yacht builder Palmer Johnson that will see the Bugatti name return to the water.
The new Bugatti Palmer Johnson Niniette motor yacht is described as ‘the result of a maverick vision to perfect that delicate alchemy between desire and demand’, and will be built by Palmer Johnson under licence. It comes in three sizes and is said to combine design DNA from both partners.
So, exactly where is the Bugatti in this boat?
It’s not massively obvious at first glance, is it? However, direct your attention to the two-tone finish and the use of materials including titanium, dark blue exposed carbonfibre and exotic woods, including brown bubinga, maple and naturally blue morta oak.
The Palmer Johnson ‘SuperSeries’ yachts (not to be confused with McLaren’s ‘super series’ cars) that form the basis of the collaboration also feature a carbonfibre hull. According to Bugatti, the Niniette’s design sport a shoulder line reminiscent of the Type 57 C Atalante and ‘the perfectly balanced proportions of the Type 41 Royale’ – original Bugatti road cars both.
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The name Niniette is perhaps the biggest link, however, as it’s not only the pet name Ettore Bugatti had for his daughter Lidia but also the moniker given to the family’s own boats in her honour. Bugatti engines powered a series of six 1930s Niniettes, setting speed records along the way.
The new Bugatti Niniette yacht is fast, right?
Sadly, there’s no sign that Palmer Johnson has also secured a supply of 1200bhp W16 quad-turbo Veyron engines for the new Niniette. In fact, Bugatti is rather tight-lipped about the waterborne power units.
But Bugatti does say Palmer Johnson reckons the smallest hull – the 42-foot PJ42 Niniette – is good for 38knots. Which is just under 44mph.
The SuperSeries monohull design does incorporate a pair of sponsons which add stability at speed and anchor, so at least you won’t spill the bubbles. The larger hull options are the 63-foot PJ63 Niniette, which features ‘luxurious’ accommodation for four guests plus a crew cabin, and the 88-foot PJ88 Niniette.
Come on then, how much is the new Bugatti yacht?
Prices start at €2 million for the smallest version – that’s around £1.5 million, or roughly equivalent to the aforementioned Chiron. The Niniette in the middle has a basic price of €3.25 million (£2.34 million); the big one thus far remains POA.
Don’t expect it to be an instant fillip while you wait for that new Bugatti road car, though, as each yacht will take approximately 12 months to complete.