More than ever, high-end car makers are going beyond simply producing cars, collaborating with yacht companies and even bringing their design expertise to the world of interiors to widen their brand’s appeal.
TAKING TO THE SEAS
It seems very fashionable for car brands to create their own bespoke luxury yachts. Mercedes-Benz launched the Arrow460-Granturismo concept – a collaboration with Silver Arrows Marine – and Lexus created the stunning Sports Yacht Concept.
More recently at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show, Porsche launched its own $16 million hybrid superyacht: the GTT 115. Designed by Studio F.A. Porsche and constructed by luxury yacht builder Dynamiq, it brings Porsche sports car design to the high seas and acts as a showcase for their fuel-efficient hybrid technology.
Aston Martin has also ventured into the glamourous world of powerboats, with the exquisite 37ft AM37 day cruiser making its debut at the glamourous Monaco Yacht Show in September 2016.
Developed in connection with Quintessence Yachts, the AM37 is the result of two years’ worth of research and development by both brands, marrying expertise from the luxury automotive and yachting worlds. The elegant new vessel is a luxurious day cruiser that can be transformed into an overnight berth by transforming the table into a comfortable bed.
The exterior boasts dynamic proportions including and a wraparound windscreen that has been created from a single piece of sculpted glass. A high performance AM37S version is expected to reach speeds of 50 knots.
From car brands designing yachts to yacht brands designing cars – Bentley announced back in July that they would be producing a bespoke, limited-edition Continental GTC, with the help of Princess Yachts. The Galene Edition by Mulliner features bespoke, nautical-themed touches including unique propeller style wheels, linen seats and a hand-painted Jaume Villardell illustration of a super yacht.
Not satisfied with simply breaking into the luxury yacht market, Aston Martin also moved into the real estate market.
For Aston Martin, these collaborations fall under the ‘Art of Living by Aston Martin’ moniker – a project designed to take customers a step beyond cars, expressing the company’s wider design ethos.
Announcing a partnership with global property developer G and G Business Developments on a unique waterfront real estate project in Miami in October 2016, the car maker has brought its renowned elegance and design reputation to the world of interior design. As a method of improving sales in the US and further afield, I think it’s a very brave but positive move from Aston Martin and, to me, feels like a natural extension of the brand. It has certainly resulted in some interesting new media coverage.
The first ever Aston Martin Residences will be situated at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way within a 66-floor, sail-shaped luxury residential tower featuring around 400 condominiums with views of the Biscayne Bay and the wider Miami area.
But Aston aren’t alone, Bentley’s Bespoke Interiors division branched out into hotels and apartments, creating suites at the St.Regis in Istanbul and New York. They also quietly opened the Bentley Lodge in Kitzbuhel. Situated in the Central Eastern Alps and developed in collaboration with Hotelier Richard Hauser, this reimagining of a traditional forester’s cottage offers skiers an unrivalled location. It looks beautiful, with every surface being carefully crafted to showcase Bentley’s contemporary materials and designs.
This move towards these types of highly-exclusive design and lifestyle collaborations is, in my opinion, a natural place for car designers and luxury car brands: designers enjoy the relative freedom of architectural or nautical design briefs, whilst the car brands’ messaging is seen and experienced by car buyers who aren’t necessarily car enthusiasts. As the “relevance” of the supercar and luxury car is increasingly debated in a more connected world, these extensions will undoubtedly help to secure the future for these companies. And who knows, maybe the ARES design team will be producing plans for more than just unique cars in the future….