Lexus has revealed a new yacht concept that aims to explore how the brand could diversify into lifestyle and recreational areas. The aptly named Sport Yacht concept has seating for up to eight people and features decidedly automotive-style surfacing and detailing.
With the automotive sector undergoing a massive change – emphasized by autonomous vehicles and ride sharing – companies are increasingly looking at other opportunities to expand their businesses.
We’ve already seen Lexus’ parent company, Toyota, reveal a new range of yachts, and there’s also been some models from Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin as well as one created for famous yacht manufacturer Palmer Johnson by Bugatti designers.
Introduced by Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Co. CEO and Lexus Chief Branding Officer, at Di Lido Island in Biscayne Bay, Florida, the Lexus Sport Yacht concept’s origins can be traced back to Toyota Marine’s preparations for a new range of premium Ponam yachts, which will soon launch in Japan.
Designed to boost the lifestyle profile of Toyota’s luxury division, two separate teams at the Lexus Design Centre in Japan were given a brief to create an open sport yacht for recreational day sailing that could accommodate six to eight people. Their concepts were submitted for evaluation in summer 2015.
“This allowed us to explore how Lexus design language could be applied to a maritime idea,” says Lexus International Vice President Yoshihiro Sawa. “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 so well.”
The selected proposal was refined throughout 2015, with Toyota’s Marine department engineering the construction and onboard marine systems. The yacht concept is built from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) for lightweight and durability, and utilizes the two 5.0-liter, 440hp V8 powerplant found in Lexus’ RC F, GS F and LC models, which is said to create a combined 885bhp (the math doesn’t add up).
The Lexus Sport Yacht upper deck and outer hull are seamlessly bonded around an inner structure. Each piece is a single, massive structure made from hand-laid CFRP, while the underwater hull has a stepped design to reduce drag and improve handling balance at high speeds.
Inside, the captain monitors and controls onboard systems from a touchscreen panel, which show GPS navigation, digital charts, surface radar, underwater sonar, lighting and entertainment systems.
The captain’s seat is power-adjustable with armrests that fold out to become jump seats on either side. A lever on the right operates the hydraulically controlled inboard/outboard stern drives while a joystick controller manages a bow-thruster to help with docking.
The standing-height forward passenger cabin is finished in leather with wood and glass details, while a sofa offers seating for six, a table and air conditioning to create a comfortable entertaining space.
A two-burner stove, sink and under-counter refrigerator offer conveniences in the galley while the facilities in the head include a shower. Videoworks of Italy created the fully networked, integrated audio and video entertainment system, with 4G, WiFi and WAN. Sound reproduction is by Revolution Acoustics surface-mounted drivers using the ceiling panel as a transducer, powered by a Mark Levinson Reference digital amplifier.
The result is a bespoke 12.7m-long project that pays homage to Lexus craftsmanship and values. There is, however, no intention to put the yacht into production.