Toyota’s business is centered on mobility, anything that moves, including people, things, money, information and energy. We reported a concept flying car funded by Toyota on AlphaLuxe recently.
Toyota is traveling not only into the skies but also on water, although that is only a small part of the business. Toyota’s boat operations began in 1997. Toyota now offers four models and has sold about 845 boats compared with about 10 million road vehicles a year globally.
Prototype in Tokyo
First spotted in Tokyo Bay, the Lexus luxury concept “yacht”, which runs on two petrol engines, showed a streamlined curvaceous design, inspired by a dolphin and evocative of a Lexus car.
Designed for luxury lifestyle lovers, the prototype model had fantasy features like an anchor pulled in by a chain through a tiny door in the bow.
Toyota Marine Department had invited Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda to spend several days on the water driving the new PONAM range of premium yachts soon to be launched in Japan.
As Chief Branding Officer of Lexus International, Toyoda was inspired by the power of the turbodiesel power, the handling and stability of advanced hull designs; and the capacity of a stylish premium performance yacht to complement the Lexus lifestyle. He wanted a premium performance yacht to expand the Lexus brand into new areas of lifestyle and recreation.
A brief for an open sport yacht for recreational day-touring with six to eight guests, powered by twin high performance Lexus V8s and with advanced styling and handling was given to the Lexus Design Centre in Toyota City, Japan.
Shigeki Tomoyama, the executive in charge, said the boat was going for “a liberating effect”.
The project started under direct orders from Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who has with Tomoyama spearheaded Toyota’s Gazoo internet business, another non-auto business for Toyota.
“He asked us to create a space that can work as a secret hiding place in the middle of the ocean”, Tomoyama said. “We went for the wow factor, which requires no words.”
The Full Reveal
On January 12, 2017, Lexus revealed the result – a running proof-of-concept for a Lexus Sport Yacht – at Di Lido Island on Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach FL.
“This concept for a Lexus Sport Yacht allowed us to explore how Lexus design language could be applied to a maritime idea,” said Yoshihiro Sawa, executive vice president of Lexus International. “For the Lexus Design Centre this project has been very exciting. The effort is valuable to us as it stirs our creative energies and pushes our imagination to design and lifestyle possibilities outside of the automotive realm we know well.”
The Marquis-Carver Yacht Group of Pulaski, Wisconsin, USA produced this bespoke, one-off project – chosen for their in-house engineering and manufacturing capabilities with large hand-laid composite structures.
The Lexus Sport Yacht concept has an upper deck and outer hull which are seamlessly bonded around the inner structure, each piece a single massive hand-laid composite of two-part polyurethane epoxy resin, reinforced with hand-laid woven carbon fibre cloth.
It uses technology from the world of race cars and supercars such as the Lexus LFA, as well as high-performance aircraft, competition skis, cycling and racing sailboats. The composite materials saved almost 2,200 lbs in weight to improve the overall strength of the Sport Yacht and reduced the resistance and drag at high speeds.
The underwater hull has a stepped-design to reduce drag and improve handling balance at high speeds.
The engines, shiny like chrome sculptures, are visible beneath the shiny floor surface. Twin 5.0-litre V8 petrol engines based on the 2UR-GSE high-performance engine as used in the Lexus RC F coupe, GS F Sport sedan and the new LC 500 Grand Tourer.
Each engine produces over 440 horsepower / 446 DIN hp / 328 kW, driving the yacht at speeds up to 49 miles per hour (43 knots) through a pair of hydraulically controlled inboard/outboard stern-drives. A bow-thruster with joystick control deals with docking procedures.
The captain controls and monitors on-board systems from a colour touchscreen panel at the helm; screens show GPS navigation, digital charts, surface radar, underwater sonar, lighting and entertainment systems.
The forward passenger cabin is inviting in luxurious Lexus leather with wood and glass details. A normal standing height, sofa seating for six with a table, and air conditioning create a comfortable environment for intimate entertaining.
An integrated audio-video entertainment system is fully networked, with 4G Wi-Fi and WAN. The sound system is through Revolution Acoustics surface-mounted drivers using the ceiling panel as a transducer, powered by a Mark Levinson® Reference digital amplifier. Enough said!
No price has yet been announced but if you really need to ask………
Lexus Sport Yacht Video
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).