THE LEXUS SPORT YACHT CONCEPT
Lexus, a division of Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, revealed its fully redesigned LS sedan just a few days ago at the Detroit Auto Show. But the company followed with an even bigger splash yesterday by announcing a seafaring addition to its luxury transportation portfolio, the Sport Yacht Concept. The vessel was revealed with panache: it was driven slowly, unannounced, through Biscayne Bay with Toyota Motor Corporation president and CEO Akio Toyoda waving from the deck before docking at an ornate Lexus-branded mansion in Miami Beach.
Joining the ranks of Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz’s marine collaborations with automotive pedigrees, Lexus’s gilded, rose-coloured craft is a showstopper. Its carbon fibre hull conceals twin high-performance V8 engines, each producing over 440 horsepower to propel the yacht at top speeds of 79 km/h (43 knots). The interior is finished in Lexus leather with plush couch seating for six, full air conditioning, and a stove and shower. Produced in partnership with the Marquis-Carver Yacht Group, Lexus kept the top secret project under wraps by performing sea trials during the off-season in Green Bay, Wisconsin, only adding the Lexus logo to the boat in the final stages of production.
If you’re in the market, however, there’s a catch: the sleek specimen is a bespoke one-off, so Lexus aficionados will have to wrangle the right connections to score a ride on the vessel. Yoshihiro Sawa, executive vice president of Lexus International, explains the project’s intent. “This concept for a Lexus Sport Yacht allowed us to explore how Lexus design language could be applied to a maritime lifestyle,” he says. “The effort is valuable to us as it stirs our creative energies and pushes our imagination to design lifestyle possibilities outside of the automotive realm we know well.”
Indeed, Lexus has branched out of that domain in recent years, from its hoverboard release in 2015 to the design of the single-seater Lexus Skyjet for Luc Besson’s upcoming film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a futuristic sci-fi starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. In theory, the Skyjet vessel travels through space and time, but consumers will have to wait about 700 years for technology to catch up before Lexus puts that concept into production.