It was six years ago that Azimut first startled us all by unveiling the triple-engine-powered 55S, with its aggressive, angular styling and exhilarating performance and handling. The surprise of opening the hatch and finding three 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600s was such that marine journalists immediately took to calculators and spec sheets and started working out just why on earth such an experienced builder would choose such an expensive and complicated installation—surely two motors of equivalent horsepower would do the job just as well?
In fact, the numbers, once crunched, revealed sound method behind this apparent madness. Three turned out to be considerably lighter than two, and no thirstier for diesel. And of course much smaller—leaving all-important space in the hull for the opulent accommodation which, when all is said and done, is what we turn to Italian motoryachts for.
With the new S6, however, the numbers tell a less compelling story. Based on a modified and slightly lengthened version of the same hull, even with its high-tech construction—the superstructure, swim platform, tender garage hatch and sunroof are made entirely of carbon fiber, along with parts of the deck—it’s heavier as well as bigger than the old 55S. So it needs more horsepower, in the shape of Volvo Penta’s 7.7-liter D8 blocks. Three 550-hp IPS700s are only slightly lighter than their counterpart pair of 800-hp IPS1050s, and offer no significant advantage in combined fuel consumption either. But they’re still a lot smaller—so, once again, a triple engine installation was a no-brainer for designers anxious to incorporate as much lower-deck luxury as possible.