Boatquest

2020 Azimut S6

Styled by Francesco Guida, the S6’s interior design takes its cues from the bigger S7 introduced last year, with its rational forms and cool color palette. Contrasting tones of oak veneers help delineate the spaces, and isolated details in leather and steel provide little visual nuggets to catch the eye. But overall the dominance of pale fabrics and linings does its job in not upstaging the star of the show, which is light. Big windows abound on both decks. Every guest space on board can have his or her moment in the sun.

With a strong strand of 55S DNA running through it, the S6 has plenty to live up to when it comes to performance and handling. And it does not disappoint. Looking even more packed than its predecessor, the engine room positively bulges with power and potential, the three six-cylinder powerplants leaving little room down there for anything else.

The automatic trim operated flawlessly in the admittedly benign conditions of our South of France sea trial, with a lightly laden boat and a barely noticeable chop on the water. On autopilot the joystick control was remarkably intuitive, allowing the helmsman to dodge obstacles by simply tapping the stick to one side or the other.

All of which is very sensible and convenient, but not actually as much fun as driving the S6 for yourself. As you might expect with 1,650 hp on tap, acceleration was immediate as the boat hauled itself up onto plane in something like seven seconds. It then just kept going, reaching 35 knots in as many seconds. And acceleration is not just about the stopwatch: The reality of an instant and willing response to the throttle even at moderate speeds has a valuable practical application—not the least of which is to make driving fun. —Alan Harper

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