Sprawling, transforming yacht concept to ferry your supercar from island to island
By C.C. Weiss
July 31, 2012
The McLaren MP4-12C is one of the more interesting supercars on the road, and it conveys a certain sense of wealth and connoisseurship about its driver. Of course, the MP4-12C's prestige pales in comparison to any massive, multi-million-dollar yacht ... unless, of course, it happens to be on board such a vessel. The Ultraluxum CXL 160, currently in development, is a huge, high-tech sailing yacht with a show garage designed specifically for the MP4-12C.
Ultraluxum Yachting's founding partner Jean-François Ruchonnet has set out to create what is called the "most extreme fusion of architecture, design, comfort, performance, economy and technology ever created in a luxury sailing yacht." That vessel is also billed as the world's largest cruising trimaran.
"I had a dream of leaving my house in Monte Carlo, getting onto a yacht in the harbor and sailing with my family for New York to arrive in less than a week," Ruchonnet recalls on Ultraluxum's website. "I wanted to travel in the same style, comfort and speed as a motor yacht but without using thousands of gallons of fuel. And when I arrived, I saw myself driving my car off the yacht straight onto the road in the USA."
In order to bring that vision to life, Ruchonnet and Ultraluxum, world-renowned naval architect Jean-Jacques Coste, and a number of outside partners have set to work on a massive sailing yacht that measures 48 meters (157.5 feet) in length by 60 meters (197 feet) in height. The key to the CXL (Carbon Xtra Light) 160's combination of ocean-hopping range, comfort, and sailing stability will be in its folding carbon fiber hull beams, which decrease hull width from 23 meters (75 feet) across on open water to 11 meters (36 feet) when mooring. This allows versatile, roll-free mooring in the harbor and solid, stable navigation at sea.
While we have to take claims about renewable resources and "harmony with nature" with a huge rock of salt when applied to gigantic resource-hogs like 160-foot yachts, Ultraluxum does claim that every effort will be made to keep the boat's operation clean and renewable. Its primary motivation, of course, comes from the wind, and on-board power is handled by a lithium-ion-based battery management system. The optional propulsion system will be a hybrid design.
In terms of sleeping and living quarters, the CXL will be a bit like a large waterfront vacation property. Outside, it will offer several open decks for soaking in the sun and atmosphere, a hot tub, and a dining area. The water will be but a quick climb down the swim ladder. Inside, the owners will enjoy a master cabin with en-suite bathroom, while up to four guest cabins and three crew cabins sleep the rest of the boat occupants. A spa can be added in place of one of the guest cabins, and there will also be a dining area, lounge area, additional bathrooms, a galley, and a navigation station. The interior is equipped with a full audio-video system and high-speed Internet access.
Oh, yes ... the McLaren. McLaren Applied Technologies, the branch of McLaren Group that applies its design and technology expertise to other industries, has is helping Ultraluxum in developing the carbon fiber hull beams. So naturally, the car that Ruchonnet mentioned in his original vision has become the McLaren MP4-12C, which will be included with CXL purchase. It will slide into a garage in the aft of the boat and remains visible through glass walls. If the MP4-12C isn't to your taste, we're pretty sure any supercar - including the MP4-12C's soon-to-be-revealed big brother McLaren flagship - will fit just as nicely.
You've probably figured out that you'd need a nine-figure-plus bank account to ever consider purchasing a CXL craft. That notion is correct: Ultraluxum lists the price of the CXL 160 at a cool €42 million (about $52 million). It can be configured for either personal or commercial use.
The CXL 160 will be on display in some form at the Monaco Yacht Show in September. If a $50 million, 160-foot vessel is just too much boat for you, Ultraluxum's public told us that there are also smaller boats in the works.
Gizmag spoke to Ultraluxum to nail down the status of the CXL 160. As of August 1, 2012, "the yacht is ready to be build with all technical and financial aspects finalized." Whether a completed model will be ready in time for Monaco remains to be seen.