The Bugatti Niniette, a $2.4M Supercar for the Sea

This titanium and carbon-fiber speed boat tops out at 44 mph.

byBen Keeshin| PUBLISHED Dec 7, 2015 6:17 PM
The Bugatti Niniette, a $2.4M Supercar for the Sea

Bugatti is gearing up to produce the world-beating, $2.5M Chiron hypercar—surely its customers might enjoy a £2.2 million sporting yacht to tide them over? A tall glass of water before the hearty W16 entree? As long as that global stock index keeps humming, Bugatti is betting so. This is the Bugatti Niniette, a supercar for the sea.

In collaboration with Palmer Johnson, the unnervingly human-sounding luxury yacht maker, Bugatti is set to release a range of open-air, carbon-fiber boats with classic Bugatti styling cues. The vessels are available in three lengths, from a modest 42 to 88 feet. All use the Niniette moniker, a pet name Ettore Bugatti had for his daughter, Lidia.

For all of its accolades, the Bugatti Veyron was not an an unalloyed success in the looks department: purposeful, sure, and supremely aerodynamic, but also blocky and with a pinched, pursed face. As such, Bugatti chose to reach farther back into its history for those cues worth applying to Palmer Johnson’s SuperSport frame. From the Type 57 C, the design team grabbed an extended, falling shoulder line; from the Type 41 Royalte, a 12.7-liter-engined behemoth, the “perfectly balanced proportions.” The second attribution seems like a stretch, but the boat is definitely striking. Like many topline cars and vintage blenders, Niniette models will be available in two-tone paint.

Almost as impressive as the design, a sort of wind tunnel-shaped cleaver, are the materials. Like Bugatti’s recent cars, the Niniette is built of carbon-fiber, titanium and steel. To mitigate the antiseptic shine of all those lightweight materials, the cabin is upholstered in leather and one of three wood varieties: bubinga, maple or morta oak. The last is supposedly naturally blue, which feels alien. And Lord knows that some heiress will, after glancing over this spec sheet, name one unfortunate daughter Bubinga. (We’d stick with maple.)

The hull is shared with Palmer Johnson’s SuperSport series: mono, but with two sponsons (stabilizing elements) for stability at speed. Spilling even a half-ounce of Petrossian would be a travesty on international waters, hear? The twin engines propel the ship to 44 mph.

Bugatti famously holds the record for fastest production car, with the Bugatti Supersport. Palmer Johnson, though less famous on the internet, also held a speed record back in the day: Its Fortuna superyacht, built for the King of Spain in 1979, was the world’s fastest for a decade, able to goad its 100 feet of bulk up to 46 knots (read: 52 mph). This partnership seems fitting, then, but that 44-mph top speed? That’s Renault stuff. A Bugatti yacht should be able to outrun social consciousness and Coast Guard.