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The Ultimate Waverider
The Ultimate Waverider

Nico Lasselsberger on Designing the Burrasca

As a former racing world champion and lead developer of the Burrasca’s extraordinary engine and powertrain, Nico Lasselsberger is wholly dedicated to personal watercraft racing. After gaining numerous titles and a degree in production and management, Nico joined Belassi to develop the world’s most advanced personal watercraft. Today, he joins us to share some insights on its development. 

Here we go!

How would you describe the Burrasca in just one sentence?

The Burrasca marries peak performance with timeless elegance.

What makes the Burrasca so unique and innovative in terms of technology?

In the design process of the Burrasca, we really wanted to redefine industry and quality standards. To ensure a stellar end product, we focused on using only high-grade materials and fine-tuning each component to our design for peak performance. The sleek, performance-oriented design of the chassis and unsurpassed engine and drivetrain ensure superior handling and acceleration, making the Burrasca defining a whole new class - the Marine Hypercraft.

Quickfire Q&A on the Burrasca’s beating heart: The MPU320 motor

What are the advantages of the Burrasca’s 3 cylinder engine?

At 320 HP, it is extremely powerful, but still light enough to ensure maximum performance.

Why does the turbocharger set the Burrasca apart?

Our turbocharger system replaces the compressor supercharging used in other craft and ensures fast power transmission and maximum engine power at all times, allowing the Burrasca to easily eclipse other watercraft in terms of performance.

What are the benefits of the open looped cooling system?

It’s the most efficient way to cool the engine and exhaust while also minimizing maintenance needs.

How does a DOHC valve controller ensure optimal performance for the Burrasca?

Our DOHC system transfers power directly from the camshaft to the valves, ensuring direct jet drive pressure on the valves without performance loss. This way, the Burrasca’s turbo mode performs optimally even at high rotation speeds and acceleration is lightning fast.

What about the design?

We wanted to make the engine an integral part of the Burrasca’s design, and specifically developed it as an aesthetic element with custom materials and coatings and a prominent part of the chassis geometry. We made messy engine components a thing of the past.

What gets a speed lover’s heart racing? The engine sound! How about that?

The engine sound is one of my favourite things about the Burrasca. Similar to the difference between a VW Golf and a Porsche, you can really hear the power of the engine and the supreme build quality of the Burrasca in it’s engine sound.

Speaking of speed lovers: How fast can you go with the Burrasca?

With a top speed of nearly 80 mph (130km/h), the Burrasca is much faster than the competition. The build quality of the Burrasca directly translates to superior performance and top speeds in the water.

How is the powertrain designed? How long did it take to fine-tune it?

All in all, the development process took two or three years. We focused on optimizing every aspect of the propulsion process, from the chassis geometry over the intake pump to the drive train. As a single weak link will create drag on all the other components, we carefully fine-tuned every element with the entire craft in mind.

The manufacturing idea is the heart of Belassi. What is it all about? How is a Burrasca built?

The Burrasca is hand-made in Austria: Expert craftsmen assemble the engine from start to finish, rather than moving it through a production line. We also perform extensive stress testing, both of the assembled engine and of the completed watercraft, setting new quality standards.

In a nutshell: How does the Burrasca differ from other PWCs?

Superior build quality, higher performance, and hand-crafted excellence. The Burrasca is the highest quality personal watercraft available.

The Burrasca: Second to none

Together, Nico Lasselsberger and his experienced team have developed the powerful heart of the ultimate Marine Hypercraft. Its carefully selected and crafted components are fine-tuned to deliver unsurpassed acceleration, speed and performance. Discover more about the Burrasca’s iconic and timeless design in our interview with Johannes Scherr.