Considering that somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of the earth's surface is covered by water – and that, if the global warming alarmists are right, that proportion of aqua to terra firma will only increase – it should come as no great surprise that the world's automakers and their designers have been setting sail on the open sea. Recent examples have included 28-foot speedboats and 135-foot catamaran megayachts penned by Porsche Design, sailboats and motor yachts from BMW DesignWorks USA, and speedboats from former Jaguar and Spyker supercar designers. The list goes on and on, and probably will continue to grow until we get the go-ahead to spin off Aquablog.
The latest pair – both rigid inflatables measuring over 40 feet long and packing ludicrous power – come from the collaboration between Italian shipyard SACS Marine and the Fiat Group: a white, outboard-powered open-plan tender for Abarth and a sleek black vessel for Lancia. The latter shares its nautical name with the motor launches that navigate the canals and waterways of Venice in the place of cars on any other city's streets. And that's just the venue the Italian automaker chose to launch – in every sense of the word – its stunning speedboat, during the international film festival it sponsored there this weekend.
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the Lancia di Lancia is a 13-meter rigid inflatable speedboat packing a pair of 560hp 6.7-liter 24-valve common-rail six-cylinder turbodiesels from Fiat Powertrain Technologies. It's capable of carrying 11 passengers on board in unparalleled style and topping out at 55 knots – impressive for an eight-and-a-half ton vessel, and easily the most dramatic vehicle to bear the Lancia name in decades. So much so, in fact, that Lancia and its onetime iconic sponsor Martini Racing rekindled their relationship for this speedboat. And just for kicks, they brought along Romanian supermodel Catrinel Menghia – the face of Giorgio Armani and Lise Charmel lingerie – for a cruise around the picturesque canals. You can enjoy the results in the high-resolution image gallery below and in the quartet of videos embedded (along with a press release) after the jump.