After a 14-year hiatus the Sunseeker Superhawk is back – this time tapping into the trend for luxury open dayboats. But does the go-fast spirit of the original live on? Editor Hugo gives his verdict...
They say the best things come to those who wait and boy have we waited. It’s been 14 years since the last Sunseeker Superhawk 43 rolled off the production line in Poole,
killed off by a combination of the 2008 financial crisis and changing consumer tastes.
But while the economy eventually returned to business as usual, boat buying habits did not. The demand for pure performance boats with big engines, skinny hulls and limited creature comforts continued to ebb away (in Europe at least), leaving Sunseeker temporarily stumped as to how to replace its iconic Superhawk range.
After a number of speculative computer renderings and changes of direction, it finally settled on this boat, the new Sunseeker Superhawk 55.
Tapping into the current trend for big, open dayboats with as much focus on style and luxury as performance, it is described by Sunseeker’s sales and marketing director, Sean Robertson, as having “the spirit of Sunseeker’s original Superhawk… but re-imagined for the owners of today.”
Clearly, today’s owners are a demanding lot because the new Sunseeker Superhawk 55 is a vastly bigger, heavier, more powerful machine than any previous Superhawk.
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With its unique combination of art and design, of engineering and aesthetics, synonymous with the Italian shipyard Riva, the 56
Even the last of the mighty triple-engined Superhawk 50s from 2005 weighed less than 12 tonnes and packed a total of 1,320hp, whereas the new Sunseeker Superhawk 55 weighs over 26 tonnes and boasts 1,450hp.
But perhaps the most telling measurement is the beam; the old Superhawk 50 measured 10ft 10in across, the new one comes in 16ft 2in – 2in wider than a Sunseeker Manhattan 55.
The reason it’s so much bigger is because it’s no longer competing with driver-focussed speed needles like the Huntons and Cigarettes of old but with spacious open day boats like the Riva 56 Rivale, Fjord 53XL and Pardo 50, which place as much emphasis on keeping guests entertained at anchor as they do on entertaining the person behind the wheel.
The big question is whether Sunseeker has managed to achieve this while retaining enough of the old Superhawk driving pleasure to justify the name.
Read Hugo’s full review of the Sunseeker Superhawk 55 in the September 2023 issue of MBY, which is out now.
Sunseeker Superhawk 55 specifications
LOA: 56ft 10in / 17.32m
Beam: 16ft 3in / 4.95m
Draft: 4ft 8in / 1.43m
Displacement: 26,100kgs / 57,500lbs
Water capacity: 430L / 114 US gal
Fuel capacity: 1,800L / 476 US gal
Engines: Twin 725hp Volvo Penta IPS950
Top speed on test: 38.3 knots
Fuel consumption: 140lph @ 20 knots
Cruising range: 192nm @ 20 knots
Noise: 77 db(A)
Starting price: £1,535,000 (ex. VAT)
Price as tested: £1,770,000 (ex. VAT)