Design

A connection between BMW, Sea Ray, and Harley Earl has lead to a new boat debut

The Sundancer 370 Outboard is the product of a partnerhsip between BMW and Sea Ray.

Photo courtesy of Sea Ray

BMW Group hasn't just teamed up with Sea Ray to develop new design language for the boat company, they've also played a part in creating a new model, the Sea Ray Sundancer 370 Outboard. Designworks, a BMW Group company, took the lead in working with Sea Ray.

The result of the partnership is the new Sundancer 370 Outboard with debuted this week in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of the Sundancer series. It was created to relaunch the Sundancer family and provide a compelling path forward for the historic brand name. HGTV personalities Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young helped launch the boat with a preview video.

"Sea Ray has a rich history as a leading boat manufacturer for more than 60 years," said Johannes Lampela, Director of Industrial Design at Designworks. "The Sea Ray look is very recognizable, and our goal working together was to further strengthen that design DNA by bringing forward the most iconic features through a modern design execution. What emerged is a modern yet classic aesthetic that is being used to inspire the next generation of Sea Ray boats."

Sea Ray Sundancer 370 Outboard Premiere www.youtube.com

According to Sea Ray, the design of the new boat combines the characteristics of a cruiser, bowrider, and coupe.

"Our goal was to define the foundation for bold and pure design expression," said Charlie Foss, Sea Ray Design Director. "Working together with Designworks, we were able to produce a fresh set of design principles that pay homage to our brand's past while indicating the future, resulting in a look that is undeniably Sea Ray. An output of the collaboration was the definition of four key design characteristics to inform Sea Ray models moving forward: sleek, confident, athletic, and distinctive."

The two companies imbued traditional automotive design elements into the the craft where it appropriately intersected with modern boat design. There is al long, lean s-sheer line that flows from bow to stern, much like a belt line on a car. The strong character jaw line (thankfully) does not incorporate oversized air or water intakes. The characteristic Sea Ray hull-side emblem and center line has been created to draw the eye in and create a feeling of speed.

"Automotive-inspired design is part of the Sea Ray history, dating back to collaboration with Harley Earl Associates in the early 1960s. It was important that we partnered with a group that has a comprehensive understanding of future mobility and the ability to develop concepts with a view to future contexts," said Foss.

Storage on the boat has been optimized to 66 cubic feet, a little more than the 2021 BMW X3 with the rear seats folded. There is custom transom Stow and Go Fender Storage and a port-side walkthrough. Buyers can upgrade their Sundancer to include an electrically actuated opening glass hardtop with black panoramic sunroof and extended sunshade.

There is a U-shaped cockpit in the craft that plays home to a wet bar, flameless Keyon grill, and optional refrigerator and teak tables. There is seating for up to five adults. The bow can be transformed from a table to a sun lounge with the available filler cushion.

The three-position convertible transom seat transitions from a hard-back surface when underway to an aft-facing seat or sunpad when at rest.

"We sought to create an interior cabin space in the Sundancer 370 Outboard that's a bright, warm and modern home away from home," said Paul Olvera, Sea Ray industrial designer. "We wanted people aboard to feel welcome to sit and relax with a sense of sophistication as they're surrounded by rich textures inspired by nature that aren't loud or overbearing. Calmness and confidence were key; nothing is cold or too bright and loud, and neither is anything too dark or moody. The tones are especially catered to their respective areas so that everything is 'just right.'"

Below deck, there is a cabin that welcomes light via Hull-side windows and skylight. The head is equipped with a shower with modern spa-like finishes and a forward V-berth lounge features an L-shaped couch and smart TV. The galley has space for an added-on microwave, refrigerator, solid surface countertops, trash receptacle, and cabinetry with lower storage.

The couch can be converted into the master bed with fill-in cushions to form a queen-sized sleeping area.

Power comes from the boat's triple Mercury Verado 300 outboard engines with Joystick Piloting for Outboards. Active Trim (automatic engine trim system) is standard while Dynamic Running Surface is available.

The helm features a dual digital dashboard. Buyers can add NSO evo3s 16-inch Simrad touchscreen displays that work with Mercury VesselView Mobile. Other highlights include CZone digital switching with the Simrad Command interface providing full lighting control, RGB-W accent lighting, and thru-hull underwater lighting. The options list also includes a Seakeeper 3 gyroscope and a Fusion audio system with Apollo RA770 touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, and Digital Signal Processing (DSP).

The Sundancer 370 Outboard is available for order in North America, with international availability timing to follow.

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A long roof with a V8. What could be better?

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Spend enough time reading car reviews, and you'll probably notice a trend among writers. We all love wagons, despite the fact that almost nobody in the United States buys them anymore. If there's a wagon that could appeal to almost anyone, however, it's this m2003 BMW 540i M Sport with a very special engine swap. It's up for auction right now and could be yours – or mine.

It doesn't get much better for a car nerd than this. The 2003 540i Sport Wagon has had its engine swapped for an S62 4.9-liter V8 and a six-speed manual transmission. For those of you not obsessed with E39 generation 5-Series cars, that's the engine from the M5 of the time. Here, it sounds every bit as raw and powerful as it does in the car it originally came from, and the six-speed manual gearbox makes this an enthusiast's dream.


2003 BMW 540i M Sport Wagon The car has been upgraded with all the right M5 components.Bring a Trailer


Inside, the black leather appears to be in great shape, considering the car's advanced age and mileage, though this wagon is lacking the in-dash navigation system that the M5 carried at the time. It's probably for the best, given that an 18-year-old computer would feel absolutely ancient compared to even the cheapest infotainment system today.

This auction is a little more than halfway through and the current bit is just over $20,000. There's quite a bit of time left for that to climb substantially, but at even twice the price it'd hard to feel cheated if you won.


2003 BMW 540i M Sport Wagon There's no navigation here, but 20 years haven't been kind to the M5's system, anyway.Bring a Trailer

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European sports sedan

Grab this 2000 BMW M5 before someone else does

Classic good looks and a rowdy V8 are the story here.

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We could spend all day bemoaning the rise of car auction sites and their impact on prices, but that won't do any good. The damage has been done. Of course, there are exceptions to the sky-high pricing we typically see on auction sites, and some cars are worth the money. This 2000 BMW M5 is one of them, and its current auction bid of just $15,250 makes us think it could go for a decent price.

The E39 M5 is one of the most legendary and sought-aftersports sedans of all time. Its 4.9-liter V8 produced 394 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque when it was new, which isn't all that crazy by today's standards, but an almost 400-horsepower family car was a big deal at the time. That magical engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive – an enthusiast's dream recipe.


2000 BMW M5 This car is in great shape for its age.Bring a Trailer


Inside, this car's tan leather upholstery looks great, and matches well with its black exterior. The seller has kept mods to a minimum, with just a set of aftermarket headlights on the list of changes. The car's original navigation system and head unit appear to be in place and the entire package is so well preserved it's amazing that the car hasn't drawn more interest so far.

Where this M5 will end up is anybody's guess. These cars are particularly difficult to find in any condition that could be called drivable, so this car's relatively low $15,000 current bid amount is surprising. Commentors on this auction are just as surprised as we are, and are asking where the love has gone for this M5. Of course, someone could swoop in at the last moment and start a bidding war, and with a full day left on the clock there's plenty of time for some action.


2000 BMW M5 The tan leather is nearly perfect.Bring a Trailer

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