Jack Haines explains why the Sunseeker Superhawk 55 is one the most hotly anticipated new boats of 2022...
Sunseeker will launch its first all-new Superhawk in more than a decade in 2022, with the Superhawk 55, which will mark a spectacular return to the open-cruiser market.
With its sharp new look, the Sunseeker Superhawk 55 will see the British yard return to a focus on sporty handling that we haven’t seen since the Superhawk 43 disappeared from the British yard’s books back in 2009.
Although a taller, beamier, more luxurious iteration of the famous Superhawk name, as befits today’s more accommodation-hungry market, its performance heritage is clear.
That long, lean profile, the wraparound glazing with a complex double-curved windscreen and a dominant new central helm position flanked by two navigators’ seats speaks volumes about its sporting intent.
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We particularly like the pantograph doors in the sidescreens that connect the cockpit to the side-decks. And check out those neat Union Jack homages in the transom gates and skylights under the windscreen.
The cockpit layout is intended to be versatile but with a focus on fun in the sun. Highlights include oversized three-person sun pads, L-shaped corner seats that slide in towards the table for dining, and a huge central wetbar with all the mod cons including a pop-up waterproof television.
The forward sun pad also slides forward to reveal a second hi-lo table and foredeck dining area, while the aft one conceals a large watersports drawer for waterskis, inflatable SUPs and other water toys.
There’s even a flooding garage tucked behind the hydraulic bathing platform large enough to take a Williams 325 jet tender as well as a pair of Seabobs.
Although the renderings show a fully open boat, there will be a hard top option for those who want more protection from the elements.
The big change from previous Superhawk models is the size and quality of the below decks accommodation. Rather than being a slender speed machine, the new Superhawk 55 features a sizeable lower saloon and galley amidships plus two separate cabins, both with ensuite bathrooms.
The full beam mid-cabin is likely to be the owner’s choice but the forward VIP doesn’t look far behind in terms of style and space.
The new Superhawk 55’s powertrain is also less extreme than some of its predecessors. Twin 725hp Volvo Penta IPS950 pods are the only choice, and look to deliver a top speed of 40 knots at half load in cool-water latitudes, although Sunseeker is underplaying its potential by quoting a top speed of 38 knots. The hull is entirely new and designed to give a suitably sporty driving experience.
The first Superhawk 55 should launch in June next year with the world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival. Prices start at £1,395,000 excluding taxes but we are assured the standard model comes with a high turnkey specification.
The only big-ticket options will be the carbon-fibre hardtop, Seakeeper 6 stabiliser and a bigger generator for boats bound for the tropics.
“I’ve been badgering Sunseeker to build a new Superhawk for years so I’m thrilled it has finally bitten the bullet,” says MBY editor Hugo Andreae.
“I love the way it looks and am sure this bigger, more luxurious iteration will be a roaring success but a part of me still wishes it was a pencil-thin speed machine capable of 50 knots.”
Sunseeker’s Hawk range: A potted history
Having prepared the ground for performance-focussed open boats in the early 1980s with models such as the XPS34, Monterey 27 and Mexico 24, Sunseeker’s first real ‘Hawk’ was the hugely successful Tomahawk 37, 292 of which were sold between 1987-1992.
The Mohawk 29, Hawk 27 and Thunderhawk 43 followed in quick succession before the first Superhawk, the 50, was launched in 1991.
This was followed by the Tomahawk 41 before a string of Superhawks of different lengths picked up the baton. Arguably the most famous of these was the Superhawk 34 (1997-2004), that starred in the epic River Thames chase sequence in the Bond film The World is Not Enough.
However, in terms of numbers sold (330) as well as their outrageous looks and performance, it was the Superhawks 48 and 50 (1995-2005) that stole people’s hearts.
The latter’s triple-surface drive configuration had a top speed of 50 knots and an outrageously long, pointy foredeck.
Sunseeker Superhawk 55 specifications
LOA: 56’10” / 17.32m
Beam: 16’1″ / 4.90m
Draft: 4’2″ / 1.27m
Displacement: 21,800kg / 48,017lb
Water capacity: 430l / 114 US gal
Fuel capacity: 1,800 l / 476 US gal
Engines: Twin 725hp Volvo Penta IPS 950 pod drives
Top speed: 40 knots
Starting price: £1,295,000 (ex. VAT)