Princess S60 review

The assault on the big traditional open sportscruiser has been relentless. First came the hardtop, which offered protection from the elements and welcome relief from the torment of stubborn canvas covers. Next, the addition of sliding cockpit doors meant that this new breed of sportscruiser offered flybridge levels of comfort in a luxurious, climate-controlled main-deck saloon that can be used whatever the weather.

Now, the sportsbridge is muscling its way in and, from the outside at least, it seems to offer the best of both worlds: the performance, looks and sunroof of a sportscruiser with a scaled-down flybridge deck that still allows for a wind-in-the-hair driving experience and offers another deck level on which guests can relax. Article continues below…

Princess clearly believes in this new breed of crossover; the pace that the S class range has developed has been rapid for a brand that traditionally takes its time to design and bring new models to market. The original S72 was based on the V72 sportscruiser but the S65 and this S60 were designed from the keel upwards to be sportsbridges.

It only takes a quick glance at the current Princess range to see that large sportscrusiers are being phased out as quickly as new sportsbridge models are being introduced.

The S60 hasn’t got it all its own way though, as there is an argument that a sportsbridge is simply a flybridge cruiser with less space on the top deck. Princess’s own all-new 62 provides just as much competition for the S60 as sportsbridge rivals from other manufactures like the Prestige 630 S. Fairline, meanwhile, still has faith in the traditional sportscruiser concept and is about to launch the Targa 63 GTO – the biggest sportscruiser it has ever made.

Not that any of this seems to trouble Princess; it has such confidence in the S60’s appeal that it commands much the same price tag as the larger 62 (albeit with more powerful engines), but does it really offer the best of both worlds or is  it a stylish compromise?