The term "flagship" gets thrown around a lot in the auto biz, but this time the term really fits the mold. Styled by the the automaker's design firm, the BMW DesignworksUSA Bavaria Cruiser 55 became the largest vessel in Bavaria's fleet when it launched this past weekend at the Palma Boat Show in Majorca, Spain.
Even in the rapidly reproaching disciplines of automotive design and naval architecture – recent examples of whose collaboration have included Viper-powered, Porsche-designed speedboats and a nautical Volkswagen Caddy – this isn't the first time the BMW design studio has dipped its toes in the water, having designed the Deep Blue 46 motoryacht for the same firm and the even larger 60-foot sailing vessel for Belgian shipyard Zeydon. This latest design benefits from lessons learned in automotive design, while incorporating some of the latest features in naval architecture. Follow the jump to read more in the press release and click the thumbnails below to view the images in high resolution.
Elegance all along the line: BMW Group DesignworksUSA defines silhouette of BAVARIA's biggest yacht ever, the Cruiser 55
Munich, April 21 2009.
In January 2009, the BAVARIA Yachtbau GmbH announced BMW Group DesignworksUSA as their new design associate and commissioned the global design consultancy and subsidiary of the BMW Group to support the Giebelstadt boat builder in the realignment of its product portfolio. DesignworksUSA operates in a multitude of industries both for the parent company's three brands as well as for external customers. Together with BAVARIA the consultancy had presented their debut joint project, the Deep Blue 46, at the BOOT Düsseldorf. With this boat the two partners achieved a precision landing. It was recently awarded the trophy "Boat of the Year" at the Croatia Boat Show. The second collaboration of this Bavarian connection is just about to be presented to the public. In April, the Cruiser 55, the biggest BAVARIA yacht to date, will be shown for the very first time at the Saló Nàutic Internacional de Palma on Majorca.
For the development of this milestone in the history of BAVARIA, the shipyard pinned its hopes on an extremely electrifying combination of affiliates. While Farr Yacht Design managed the boat construction, the Munich studio of BMW Group DesignworksUSA was responsible for the overall exterior design and styling concept. With the result, the experts at the versatile design consultancy are effortlessly demonstrating that they master the art of sensitive evolution equally well as the techniques of creative revolution. The design concept of the Cruiser 55 is a discreet enhancement of the existing Cruiser line, marking the beginning of a new era in BAVARIA design - an era characterised by a clearly defined design vocabulary, by innovative impetus and a combination of maximum functionality and premium design.
Eye-catching simplicity: the exterior design of the Cruiser 55.
The silhouette of the Cruiser 55 was created at the Munich studio of DesignworksUSA in close collaboration with the engineering office and the shipyard. The Yacht magazine, one of Europe's leading trade journals, sums up: "The Cruiser 55 presents itself in a discreet form, totally avoiding superficial effects, but nevertheless – or perhaps for this very reason – radiating more class and finesse than any design produced during the last ten to fifteen years."
Laurenz Schaffer, head of the Munich studio is pleased with this reasoning: "The design of the Cruiser 55 places the emphasis on the highest level of functionality and performance. Our design was aimed at creating a silhouette that reflects a maximum degree of lucidity and clarity. The deck dispenses with all superfluity, all functions are extremely well-organised and oriented towards a sheer sailing experience that takes on a completely new dimension." Based on the classic features of the existing cruiser line and through the use of elegant, seamlessly smooth surfaces, it was possible to achieve a distinctively modern design. The portholes are seamlessly integrated into the flush deck construction; the hull windows boasting an intentionally horizontally accentuated, narrow design are evenly set into a wide ornamental frame. The high degree of visual order achieved by this suggests calmness, directing the crew's attention to the core aspect of the yacht – its seaworthiness. And in spite of its subtle simplicity, the Cruiser 55 reveals a completely independent character that sparks the emotions of the beholder. The boat features an effectively raised deck line, a modern hull profile at the stern with a wide deck within the aft cockpit area, a wide transom that stands out through a distinctive surface design and a surprisingly generous seating arrangement. Thanks to these attributes the Cruiser 55 presents itself as the BAVARIA line's proud flagship that is already filling the order books before series production has even commenced. The Bavaria Cruiser 55 can immediately be ordered in a three, four or five-cabin version.
BMW Group DesignworksUSA – perfection in design beyond the spotlights.
BMW Group DesignworksUSA is a global design consultancy and subsidiary of the BMW Group. The company, which was acquired by the BMW Group in 1995, now operates globally from its locations in Europe, America and Asia. Clients turn to DesignworksUSA for brand communications, strategy, research, design development, engineering, modeling, and colour, materials, and finish. Unique to DesignworksUSA, they have both an automotive and industrial design studio, enabling the transfer of collective knowledge and inspiration from automotive design to product design and vice versa. The studio represents a guiding force for the BMW Group brand design studios (BMW, MINI and Rolls Rolls-Royce Motor Cars) and simultaneously operates as an innovation driver for the most diverse industries from IT to medical, lifestyle or aviation. Since 2004, Verena C. Kloos has overseen the strategy and operations for the Munich, Los Angeles and Singapore design studios. The designs consistently express the individual identity of a brand, so each product devised by BMW Group DesignworksUSA gains its specific uniqueness. Thanks to this approach the design studio stands out significantly from its competitors, convincing big brand names – from Nokia Microsoft and HP, SaecoStarbucks, Acer Embraer, Advanced Medical Optics and Bavaria Yachts to Boeing Business Jets.
Overview of design features of the BAVARIA Cruiser 55:
• Customer: BAVARIA Yachtbau GmbH, Giebelstadt.
• Project: BAVARIA Cruiser 55.
• Design concept: BMW Group DesignworksUSA. Construction: Farr Yacht Design.
• Evolutionary boat development. In the style of classic cruiser design but distinctively modernised, substantially strengthening the boat's character. Symbiosis of cruiser tradition and modern design.
• New level of design quality and a highly functional orientation.
• Modernity and clarity: High degree of visual order for purposeful and modern clarity, lucidity and simplicity on board.
• Strong individual character through wide deck within the aft cockpit area (widened by 20 cm to ensure optimum amount of space inside), wide transom with characteristic surface design, flush deck construction and two parallel hatch lines.
• Plane, elegant, large and seamlessly smooth surfaces for a distinctively modernised look.
• Flat deck, flushly aligned portholes, narrow hull windows evenly set into an ornamental frame.
• Raised deck line (sheerline) and distinctive modernisation of hull profile at the stern.
• Generous helmstand also designed for uncompromising performance.
• Concisely organised instrument console in helmstand.
• Enhanced seating arrangement and flexible functional gangway (for extension of the seating arrangement and for use as a gangplank).
• Modern twin rudder system.