Fittingly, the first example built was named “Mercedes”. It’s the beginning of a new chapter – “a revolution” say aficionados of nautical design, because the “Silver Arrow of the seas” (the official name of the Arrow460-Granturismo) marks the entrance of Mercedes-Benz design in the luxury motor yacht world. “We have transferred our expertise to the marine industry – explains Daimler Vice President Design Gorden Wagener – creating, in the process, something drastically different from anything else ever seen on water. We have applied our brand’s concepts of automotive design to a yacht: a progressive, dynamic design philosophy which, in our cars, expresses a sensual purity that is the key to modern luxury, in a combination of emotion and intelligence”.
The Arrow460-Granturismo is built in a Swiss boatyard near Lausanne by Silver Arrows Marine – described by its CEO Ron Gibbs as “the finest in nautical engineering fused with the innovation and elegance of Mercedes” – and is the result of a collaborative venture led by Mercedes-Benz Style, the brand headed by Martin Bremer that already has many other creations to its credit, such as, to mention just a few, the EC145 helicopter, the interior design of Lufthansa aircraft, Rodenstock eyewear and the futuristic Ameluna lamp designed with Artemide. The “Silver Arrow” project started in 2010 with invaluable input from the German brand’s Como based studio headed by Michele Paganetti. “It’s a great moment for all of us – says Wagener – as I believe that creating a motor yacht is a dream of every designer. And it was done with a new sense of inspiration, which has broadened our concept of modern luxury.”
The yacht measures 46 feet (14 metres) in length, as the name itself says, and has two engines with a total of 960 horsepower. It is effectively a crossover, combining characteristics of a day boat and a cabin cruiser, and with space for ten occupants on board. The generous side windows can be opened and the windscreen lifted to give the occupants a sense of open space while comfortably seated within, while the tables and seats can be folded open or closed as needed. Details such as air conditioning, an impeccable audio system and even an ice machine reveal the attention lavished on creating this yacht and the luxury it embodies. Eucalyptus inner walls and composite wood flooring offer a heightened sense of wellbeing in an interior conceived with a three-dimensional approach, as Wagener notes, and enhanced by features such as exclusive leather and textiles and electrochromatic windows (using the same Magic Sky technology introduced in some of the brand’s cars), and by an ambience as refined as an elegant lounge. It is, in short, “a perfect link to the world’s most important luxury automobile brand”.
One look at the exterior design leaves no doubt that this is a Mercedes, with clear outlines, soft surfaces and a muscular keel line accentuating its sensual purity. “The proportions are the same as those defining the character of our brand”, says Wagener. “With a long bow deck, like the long hoods of our cars, a flowing, arched cabin, a drooped rear end and a single shoulder line descending to the stern in an interplay of contrasting concave and convex forms along the flank that expresses dynamism and serenity. It’s a sexy yacht, like our cars.”