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Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Rolls-Royce and UK boatbuilder Sunseeker International have agreed to develop a series production luxury yacht fitted with MTU hybrid propulsion.

The concept will be exhibited at the 2019 Düsseldorf Boat Show, to be held from 19 until 27 January, with a view to launching the new boat in 2020.

Sean Robertson, Sales Director, Sunseeker International, said: “Sunseeker has always led the industry by innovating and being first to market so it is entirely appropriate that we are the first luxury performance yacht manufacturer to partner with MTU Hybrid Power which will revolutionise how all customers power their boats over the coming years. The way owners are using their boats continues to evolve with efficiency and noise reduction now as important as features and volume which all contribute to their ultimate purchase decision. This latest hybrid technology will feature in a brand new model launching in 2020 and will allow owners a choice of multiple operating modes from all-electric with zero emissions through to use of the twin 12-cylinder diesel engines delivering efficient class-leading performance. We will always be led by our customers who are seeking the highest levels of innovation to match their extended cruising aspirations.”

Knut Müller, Head of Marine and Government Business, MTU, said: “The combination of diesel engines and electric motors, in addition to batteries and their variable areas of application, offer yacht owners significant benefits. Silent cruising, combined with low vibration and emission levels, offer tremendous gains in terms of on-board comfort. High performance levels, efficiency, environmental compatibility and the flexibility of the propulsion system are of great interest today when operating a yacht. We believe that the focus in the future yacht industry will be more and more on smart and innovative system solutions rather than just focussing on the power output level.”

The boat will feature an integrated MTU hybrid propulsion system, comprising two 12-cylinder MTU Series 2000 diesel engines, each delivering 1,947bhp, on-board generators, electric propulsion modules, transmission system, batteries, and control and monitoring systems. The plant can be expanded on a modular basis.

Six different operating modes will include automated 'smart hybrid' and 'charge hybrid' modes, which enable all power sources to be used as required. In an 'electric mode' the propulsion and on-board power can be supplied continuously by the generators, providing optimisation of fuel consumption and comfort on-board for long and overnight passages. In 'silent mode', relying solely on battery power, up to 40 minutes of propulsion and 120 minutes of on-board power are available with each pair of MTU batteries installed, with zero emissions.

Sunseeker and MTU UK have had a successful working relationship for more than 18 years, with over 1.8 million bhp of MTU power installed in yachts with lengths of between 20m and 47m. As early as 2010, the two companies laid the basis for the hybrid propulsion system in tests that were carried out on a prototype yacht.

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