source: ABT Sportsline
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy” – especially if you’re en route to a racy rendezvous to the Mediterranean Sea in an ABT RS5-R Sportback. The trip’s destination is the Marina di Varazze, a new marina between Savona and Genoa, where a special welcome awaits us: the first ABT-powered boat. The Italian motorboat builder Sacs Marine has created the special edition in collaboration with the German tuning company. But before boarding the STRIDER 11 ABT SPORT MASTER, we will first slide back into the sports seats of the ABT RS5-R.
The sedan of which ABT sells just 50 units worldwide has turned out to be an ideal companion for the trip: It has lots of space and lots of power. Whilst attacking the often rain-soaked Alpine passes, we are delighted by the quattro system and ABT coilover suspension together with sport anti-roll bars. The final leg before the Italian border is the San Bernardino Pass. The ABT RS5-R ascends effortlessly to the peak at 2,067 meters. Step on the gas and the ABT exhaust system with its four Carbon fiber bezels sings in a deep baritone: See you later Switzerland, welcome to Italy. The remaining 40 kilometers to the destination are Mediterranean coast road. A little later, the luxurious sports speedboat is ahead of us – moored peacefully at a jetty in the Marina di Varazze.
As its name suggests, the STRIDER 11 ABT SPORT MASTER measures 11 meters from bow to stern and is bigger in size than expected. Now we want to experience what happens when the two 400 hp ABT V8 TDI engines under the sun deck are awoken from their slumber. We have barely reached the exit between the quay walls when we push the throttle forward. The spectacle created by the two high-torque inboard diesel motors is incredible. The imposing five-ton weight suddenly seems as light as a feather. “The boat’s acceleration is incredibly linear and vehement right from the start,” enthuses Sacs Technical Director Franco Gambirasio. On the water, which by now feels rock-hard, the ABT STRIDER‘s top speed of 50 knots or 93 km/h feels like 300 km/h on the road with the top down. The speed turns the houses on the bank into blurred silhouettes. Slowly, the body and senses become used to the maritime speed rush. Then suddenly we notice something: The diesel engines don’t sound like diesels, more like the RS5-R. How can this be? An ABT Sound Control System changes the engine note. And as we glide vivaciously over the waves, accompanied by a deep throaty gurgle, we start to hum, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…”