It may seem odd for Lexus to debut a vehicle without wheels, but a few years ago, Toyota’s Marine Department invited Toyota Motor Corporation’s president, Akio Toyoda, to spend a few days piloting a range of premium yachts. Toyoda was impressed by the offerings, which led the Lexus International chief branding officer to take on the Sport Yacht project to show that Lexus can make a splash in new markets, including luxury yachts.
Debuting in Miami Beach, Florida, the Lexus Sport Yacht is a running, “proof-of-concept” that is distinctly a Lexus product. The Sport Yacht was created to be a recreational tourer that can accommodate up to eight guests. Twin Lexus high-performance V-8s lifted from the company’s GS F and RC F totaling 885 horsepower, power the craft and it is capable of hitting a top speed of 43 knots (49 mph.)
Using partially traditional yacht building techniques, Lexus married the Sport Yacht with techniques used in the LFA supercar such as hand-laid woven carbon fiber cloth and a composite material called “carbon fiber reinforced plastics” to save almost 2,200 pounds, which not only improved the overall strength of the Sport Yacht, but also reduced the resistance and drag at high speeds.
“This concept for the Lexus Sport Yacht allowed us to explore how Lexus design language could be applied to a maritime lifestyle. For the Lexus Design Center 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,” said Yoshihiro Sawa, Executive Vice President of Lexus International.
The Sport Yacht Concept includes captain controls and monitors in the form of color touchscreen panels, similar to what you’d find in the company’s road cars. It also features GPS, digital charts, surface radar, underwater sonar, and a luxurious cabin outfitted with a sofa, table, air-conditioning, a two-burner stove, sink, and refrigerator. Further adding to the overall experience, Lexus installed a fully integrated audio-video system and Revolution Acoustics surface-mounted drivers and a Mark Levinson amp.
Unfortunately, the Lexus Sport Yacht the company revealed is a bespoke project that Lexus has no intention to put into production. Too bad about that, but we’d still enjoy taking it for a weekend cruise.