The brand new Invictus 280CX on test thanks to Nautica Bertelli

After a starring role at last NavigaMi in Milan, Invictus 280CX is back on Lake Iseo by Nautica Bertelli. Just in time for our test.

Flat Lake and a gray sky that threatens rain: not the weather that makes you jump into the boat, if it were not for the cozy home of Nautica Bertelli on the south shore of Lake Iseo, dealer of the boatyard for Central-Northern Italy, Austria and Switzerland. The first Invictus 280CX is waiting at the pier: the first of its size, but also the absolute first of the CX models, the third “X” range in the shipyard’s offer, all with the unmistakable design by Christian Grande.
The new Invictus 280CX is complemented by the successful FX (outboard-powered sport models), and the SX open ones, with sterndrive. With the third range comes a mix of design solutions already appreciated on the other two, with the addition of a living area in the middle of the deck and, above all, a space belowdecks which houses a cabin and separate head. Common to the other models is the seaworthy hull.


Invictus 280CX: no bent nose, but six smart details

Some disappointment comes from the lack of the “bent nosewhich characterizes the GT e TT: it’s a peculiar trait, which I’d like to see on the rest of the lineup…at least on the larger models. Beside this, the DNA of 280CX is immediately clear, with some solutions that are made to satisfy the experienced boaters. Here’s six:

  • Foredeck solarium, a proper one, with a darker and embroidered seatback which offers a good support without hindering visibility to the driver. A pop-up bimini is concealed to the sight but comes out in a minute to protect the cockpit.
  • The console is practical and ergonomic, slightly moved to starboard to grant a better access to the bow.
  • The anchor winch is completely recessed to facilitate access from the front.


  • The dashboard features an elegant design but it would be good to mount a multi-purpose screen, as the round engine gauges look a bit dated.All my praise go to the smart couch amidships, whose seatback can tilt to turn into a double seat for the dinette. It’s a pity there’s no wetbar / grill cabinet, although probably it’s not the proper kind of boat to prepare a barbecue.
  • The back couch turns into a solarium with a quick move and covers the engine bay. The swim platform is practical and has a classy touch in the leather-covered handrail.
  • Last but not least is the cabin, which is difficult to notice from outside but is capable to house a heads and a double berth / inside dinette.


Progression is endless

up to 40 knots

Invictus 280CX: the test

Our test boat is powered by a gas V8 Volvo Penta with 350 HP, the alternative diesel MerCruiser TDI 260 HP costs much more so it’s worth to evaluate the real use of the boat. The basic instruments don’t feature any indication for the fuel consumption, so we stick to official Volvo Penta figures: 111 liters per hour at 5800rpm, which is top speed. We also publish diesel engine data, so to compare. The noise coming from the engine room, based on the soundmeter and my very ears, is a bit too loud, maybe some extra insulation could help.


Apart from this little drawback, navigation with Invictus 280CX is really enjoyable, and would the climate be more inviting we could enjoy the two large sun beds. The response to even the sharpest inputs is always good, confirming that the hull will forgive some careless piloting. And the soft passage on our wake make me think that Invictus 280CX will be at ease even in chopped waters.
Minimum plane speed is just shy of 13 knots at 2700 revs, while acceleration is constant taking the hull out in 4.5 seconds and to 30 knots in just 10. And it goes on endlessly up to 40 knots, even too much for such a classy boat.


The numbers of Invictus 280CX

  • Length overall                         8.70 m (28ft 6in)
  • Beam                                          2.70 m (8ft 10in)
  • Displacement                          2850 Kg
  • Draft                                          1.06 m (3ft 6in)
  • Engine                                       Volvo Penta V8 350 HP
  • Fuel reserve                              530 l (140 US gal)
  • Fresh water reserve                54 l (14 US gal)
  • Passengers                               8/10
  • CE design category                B/C
  • Designer                                  Christian Grande


rpm               knots          mph        dB

  • 1000               3,3               3,8         64
  • 1500                6,0             6,9          66
  • 2000               7,4              8,5          70
  • 2500                10,0           11,5        84
  • 3000               15,0            17,3        84
  • 3500                21,0           24,2        85
  • 4000               25,0           28,8        83
  • 4500                28,0          32,2         83
  • 5000               32,0           36,8         85
  • 5500                37,0           42,6        86
  • 6000               40,0           46,0        86

Test conditions

  • Calm lake, clean hull, fuel 260 l (68 US gal), water 40 l (10 US gal), 3 passengers

Performance with MerCruiser 3.0 TDI 260 HP (official figures

rpm        knots      mph     lph       nm/l      range (20% reserve)

  • 1000        5,7        6,6        2,3        2,48      1051
  • 1500        7,3        8,4        4,2        1,74        737
  • 2000        11,0      12,7      8,4        1,31       555
  • 2500        21,0      24,2      15         1,40       594
  • 3000        26,0     29,9      18         1,44        612
  • 3500        32,0      36,8     21         1,52        646
  • 4000        35,0     40,3      27        1,30        550

Indicative price (VAT not included)

  • With Volvo Penta V8 350 HP gas                            € 76850
  • With MerCruiser 3.0 TDI 260 HP Diesel               € 85850

Read our full test of Invictus 370GT

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