Bugatti teams up with Palmer Johnson, announces Niniette carbonfiber sport yacht

Article by Christian A., on December 10, 2015

A joint project that Bugatti, a well-known maker of the fastest production sports cars in the world, entered with yacht builder Palmer Johnson has gotten everyone excited. According to their agreement, Palmer Johnson will be designing new open sport yachts made of carbon-fibre and these will be built using the Bugatti name.

Under the plan, Bugatti will allow the installation of features like advanced materials and design elements that are distinct to the automaker. The yachts will carry the Niniette name. The three models have varying lengths, measuring 42ft to 88ft. The smallest one has a price tag of €2 million.

Since the 1930s, Ettore Bugatti had been developing yachts and racing boats. That Ettore Bugatti had a personal connection to his creations was obvious from the name he gave to them. Niniette for example is his pet name for Lidia, his daughter. Now, the brand is reviving that same tradition with the motto “Art, Forme, Technique.”

Like what its founder did, the name will also be used for a boat. For the yachts, Bugatti’s own design team used the same principle that they have with sports cars which is “Form follows Performance.” Thus while the carbon fiber hull of the yacht incorporates the style elements of the brand’s classic and iconic cars, it is combined with the innovative hull shape from Palmer Johnson’s own SuperSport series.

The main characteristic of the design is the falling shoulder line similar to that of the brand’s Type 57 C Atalante with the balanced proportion of its Type 41 Royale. As a result, this gives it a good balance in sportiness and elegance.

The relationship of the Niniette by Palmer Johnson and the design DNA of the brand can also be seen with its highlighted waist line and the traditional two-tone color scheme. Looking at the Niniette on its side, the design emphasizes the contrast made by the dark blue exposed carbon fiber with the ultra-lightweight and ultra-strong titanium.

Meanwhile, the combination of the blue morta oak wood or the brown bubinga maple gives the deck the contrast it needs with the high-tech materials. Since Palmer Johnson based the Niniette’s design on its SuperSport series, it also has that mono-hull with its two sponsons.

This gives it the needed stability whether at speed or while at anchor. Because it is mainly made of carbon fiber, the Niniette can reach speeds of up to 38 knots, which is around 70 kph. The official name of the central model is PJ63 Niniette and it measures 63 feet long or around 20 meters.

The beam meanwhile measures 20.3 feet or 6.2 meters. The salon on the deck has an area of 63 m² while the one below it measures 43 m². This allows it to accommodate a crew cabin and a maximum of 4 guests. Bugatti however allows customization of the interior upon the request of the customers.

Bugatti has priced the PJ63 Niniette at a starting price of €3.25 million. The two other models are the PJ42 Niniette which is 42 feet (around 13 meters) long and the PJ88 Niniette which measures 88 feet (about 27 meters). Customers who are interested to purchase one should know that the production time is 12 months.

Dr. Stefan Brungs explained that the project has managed to bring together two brands with more than a century of experience when it comes to hand crafting high-end products in their own industries. Brungs is a member of the Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S Board of Management that is in-charge of Sales and Marketing.

Brungs adds that the two companies also have considerable experience when it comes to creating lightweight design. The Niniette has been inspired by Bugatti’s design DNA and Palmer Johnson has managed to create not just a beautiful and elegant yacht but also one that masterfully combines titanium, carbon fiber, and surprisingly, valuable wood.

The Niniette will definitely be a collector’s item that will excite maritime enthusiasts, Brungs concludes. Timur Mohamed, who owns Palmer Johnson, also shared his views on the partnership. According to Mohamed, the Niniette is the product of their vision to perfect the alchemy of demand and desire. Bugatti and Palmer Johnson, Mohamed relates, have deep core values, which include reaching for what cannot be seen and reaching high in order to give customers the next incredible experience.

The two companies make it a point to distance themselves from the herd. These are based on the notion that the two companies always aim to attain goals that no one will ever expect and continue taking one step forward.

Mohamed shares that Palmer Johnson and Bugatti are united in the goal of moving to uncharted waters and thinking out of the box. Palmer Johnson, Mohamed says, is happy to have been given the chance to use the design DNA and the Bugatti name for the new model line.

Press Release


The makers of the world’s fastest production super sports car, Bugatti, and the world’s largest motor yacht builder, Palmer Johnson, are embarking on a joint project. Under licence granted by Bugatti, the world renowned yacht brand has designed a new series of stunning and elegant open carbon-fibre sport yachts, featuring distinctive Bugatti design elements and advanced materials. The series bears the Niniette name and is available in three models from 42ft to 88ft. Prices for the smallest model start at €2 million.

Company founder Ettore Bugatti had already developed racing boats and yachts in the 1930s. The visionary’s very personal relationship with his yachts is evident from the names he gave them: Niniette was the pet name of his daughter Lidia. Now, more than 80 years later, this tradition has been revived and the brand motto of “Art, Forme, Technique“ is once again being applied to a boat.

As with the sports cars, the Bugatti design team followed its approach “Form follows Performance”. The luxury yacht with its carbon fiber hull takes up style elements of Bugatti’s iconic classic cars and combines them with the revolutionary hull shape of Palmer Johnson’s SuperSport series. The design is characterized by the falling shoulder line of the Bugatti Type 57 C Atalante and the perfectly balanced proportions of the Type 41 Royale. Purist, flowing surfaces and lines create a perfect equilibrium between elegance and sportiness.

The close link between the Palmer Johnson Niniette and Bugatti’s design DNA is also evident from the accentuated waist line and the typical two-tone color scheme. Viewed from the side, the design is highlighted by a contrasting blend of ultra-strong ultra-lightweight titanium and dark blue exposed carbon fiber. On deck, the combination of a brown bubinga, maple or naturally blue morta oak wood provides a warm contrast with the lightweight high-tech materials.

The design of the Niniette’s hull is based on Palmer Johnson’s ground-breaking SuperSport series – a mono-hull with two sponsons that provide greater stability at speeds and also at anchor. According to the yacht builder, the top speed of the carbon fiber yacht is 38 knots (about 70 km/h).

The central model in the new series is the PJ63 Niniette, with a length of 63 feet (almost 20 meters) and a beam of 20.3ft (6.2 meters). This yacht features a 63 m² salon on deck, a 43 m² salon below deck, luxurious accommodation for up to 4 guests and a crew cabin. On request, Bugatti can tailor the interior to meet customers’ individual requirements. The PJ63 Niniette has a basic price of about €3.25 million.

The boat’s sisters, the PJ42 Niniette and the PJ88 Niniette, have lengths of 42 feet (almost 13 meters) and 88 feet (almost 27 meters) respectively. The production time for all three models is about 12 months.

“This very special project brings together two brands with more than 100 years of experience in high-end hand crafting in their respective fields,” explains Dr. Stefan Brungs, Member of the Board of Management of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. responsible for Sales and Marketing: “Bugatti and Palmer Johnson share outstanding lightweight design expertise. Inspired by Bugatti’s design DNA, Palmer Johnson has created not only an incredibly elegant and beautiful yacht but also a masterpiece of craftsmanship featuring carbon fiber, titanium and precious wood. This collector’s item will thrill maritime aficionados.”

“The Palmer Johnson Niniette is the result of a maverick vision to perfect that delicate alchemy between desire and demand. Both Palmer Johnson and Bugatti share deeply held core values of reaching for what we cannot see, of reaching high to deliver the next unimagined experience, of always distancing ourselves from the herd,” says Timur Mohamed, owner of Palmer Johnson, talking about the cooperation. “This is backed by the deeply rooted claims of both brands to reach goals no one expects and always to go one step further. Bugatti and Palmer Johnson are united by the vision of not just thinking outside the box but moving into completely uncharted waters.” He adds: “We are proud to be able to use Bugatti’s name and design DNA for our exciting new model line.”

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Topics: bugatti, partnership



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