You’ve got to hand it to Twisted Automotive. It doesn’t miss a trick. Whether it’s spending £7.5m to buy 240 of the last Defenders ever made or launching in North America or besting JLR in a long-running trademark dispute, the firm appears ever-ready to throw down with fate, and put its money where its mouth is. Cue Twisted Marine, a new enterprise intended to make waves (sorry) in the lucrative powerboat market.
The story has been several years in the making. Apparently a ‘lifelong dream’ of founder Charles Fawcett, Twisted acquired a marine services company all the way back in 2020, a move which at the time was said to presage the launch of Twisted Marine as it established an engineering presence in Salcombe, Devon. Clearly it has taken some time to get the new division off the drawing board (not unreasonably so, given the hindrance of the pandemic) but now, with the launch of a new website and a flashy teaser video, team boat is now full steam ahead.
What does that mean exactly? Well, initially the emphasis is on the new T-450 RIB, which, as the photos show, will be branded Twisted from the outset. The firm doesn’t go into a huge amount of detail ahead of a ‘private launch’ later this week (and PH won’t attempt to feign a deep knowledge of rigid inflatables) but the manufacturer says its aim was to take ‘an iconic British designed deep-V hull with a pedigree of more than three decades and [make] it better’. We’ll have to wait and see what precisely that means for the T-450 – although if that number refers to output (and the ‘225’ printed on the dual Mercury outboards suggest it does) it’s likely to be very punchy indeed.
Regardless, the high-end RIB market is not the limit of Twisted Marine’s ambition. Elsewhere on the fledgling website, the firm says it has already started the process of importing the Scarab AVS 38 from Ohio, and updating the 90s’ era hull to deliver ‘Miami Vice performance with modern day reliability’. Yes, that’s right: it’s a restomod, a move which the manufacturer says is ’trailblazing for the marine industry’.
Apparently the Twisted Scarab will be put through a ‘post construction assessment’ to ensure it meets the current Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) standards, and the company has lined up two brand-new 430hp 6.2-litre Volvo Penta engines to power the outcome. No word yet on how much the Scarab will cost when Twisted finally gets it to market (clue: a lot), but given its rarity in UK waters, the firm clearly feels there is a business case for the boat – likely built on those of us who grew up watching more Baywatch than we’d care to admit…
Obviously when it comes to the business of ‘breathing new life into legendary vehicles’ Twisted can claim to know as much as anyone, and with Jake Cronk (formerly of Mercedes-AMG Formula 1, but also a fully qualified marine engineer) installed to run the marine division from the start, it obviously feels like it has established the team to make a success of its latest venture. Frankly, we can’t wait to see what it comes up with next.