Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lexus of the Seas: The Lexus Sport Yacht Concept

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Ahoy, Lexus! The Japanese luxury automaker sets a course for adventure—or at least brand expansion—with the Lexus Sport Yacht concept. The first ever Lexus-brand watercraft is a 42-footer that seats eight, and it made its in-water debut at Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach, with Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda smashing the figurative bottle of champagne across the bow.

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The yacht’s design was penned at the Lexus Design Centre in Japan, and a keen eye can see clear elements of the brand’s automotive design language—and also the design language of a large water mammal, maybe a porpoise.

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The yacht was engineered by the Toyota Marine Department (who knew it had one?) and was built by Wisconsin’s Marquis-Carver Yacht Group. Construction is of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which Lexus claims saves 2200 pounds compared with using more traditional fiberglass. A pair of 5.0-liter Lexus V-8s—visible through a clear cover—send a total of 885 horsepower to twin stern drives.

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The open-decked yacht features a power-adjustable central captain’s chair that faces a huge color touchscreen. It’s flanked by two fold-out jump seats, and there’s additional seating along the sides. The air-conditioned forward compartment includes two sofas; a sink, stove, and refrigerator; a head with a shower; and an infotainment system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

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Although it appears ready for production, the Lexus Sport Yacht is destined to remain a one-off. While other luxury automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and Bugatti have maritime offerings, Lexus seems content to be a landlubber for now.

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