Premium carmaker Lexus is already well known for its quality output, like the sublime LC500, recently unveiled ES saloon and the brand new RC Luxury Sports Coupe. However, it now does luxury yachts too. The Japanese manufacturer has recently announced plans to produce the LY 650, which it thinks sits perfectly as the third Lexus flagship alongside the LS saloon and LC coupe models.
As you'd expect, the 65-foot Lexus yacht oozes style from every angle, and sports many of the same design flourishes that can be seen inside the interiors of its cars. In fact, Lexus is applying its very own design language – the sumptuous sounding 'L-finesse' – to the yacht in the same way it uses this thinking in its automotive designs.
We've been here before actually, because a year or so ago Lexus unveiled its impressive Lexus Sport Yacht Concept. That wasn't just a collection of digital renders showcasing lots of elegant curves and high-performance potential; Lexus built the thing, and then got Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda to cruise up to a posh waterfront berth in Miami to show that it was serious.
Not only did we get to see the craft, we went cruising on it too, and it was a blast. Imagine a full-fat V8 LC500 on water with the luxury Lexus fixtures and fittings to match and you get an idea of its persona. The hull, inner structure and superstructure of the bespoke, 42-foot open sport cruiser are made of hand-laid carbon fibre material, vacuum-infused with two-part polyurethane resin. It was a pretty mean machine.
Meanwhile, power was provided by two marine-specification versions of the 5.0-litre Lexus V8 engine as featured in the Lexus RC F coupe and GS F saloon performance models, along with the aforementioned LC 500 coupe. Needless to say, that model moved across the water pretty rapidly and sounded rather good too thanks to that eight-pot engine and some new-fangled sports exhaust plumbing.
Dreaming of the ocean
It's a continuing creative vision being propelled by executive vice president Shigeki Tomoyama, who thinks a Lexus that cruises the oceans in style makes the perfect complement to a brand that oozes premium from every angle.
The LY 650 ramps up the innovation that was seen on the original craft. It’s a lot bigger (the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept was just 42 feet long) and the new launch also benefits from a 19-foot beam that should make it cool and composed on the water.
Added to that, the yacht will have luxury staterooms below deck and enough space to keep 15 guests happy with ease. You’ll get state-of-the-art technology throughout too, with a new Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) designed to provide a wealth of security functions, smartphone integration, remote diagnostics, maintenance and other services. There’ll be a high-tech multimedia system too, plus lots of leather and hand-crafted wood finishes thrown in for good measure.
Toyota (the parent company of Lexus) has been dipping its toe into boatbuilding for a number of years, though without the prestige edge that comes with a Lexus yacht. And, while the LY 650 will feature engines from Volvo, many of Toyota Marine's Ponam line (which includes luxury cabin cruisers) have been powered by turbodiesel engines based around the Lexus GX 300d and LX 450d utility models.
The Lexus Sport Yacht concept has already won a gong at the Japan International Boat Show earlier in the year. At the event, Tomoyama, who is responsible for the marine division, announced plans for a full-blown Lexus yacht to be produced for worldwide sale.
“Based on our amazing experiences in engineering, building, testing and showing the Lexus Sport Yacht concept last year, we’ve decided to take the next bold step of producing an all-new, larger yacht," he said. “This will build on the advanced nature of the concept while adding more comfort and living space.”
Lexus clearly likes to think outside the box – it’s even come up with its very own hoverboard and that worked too, albeit in a fairly limited test environment. Something like the LC500 is certainly a great looking coupe and, if you've got sufficiently deep pockets, the LY 650 now looks like being the ideal water-based accompaniment.
The new craft will be built by the Wisconsin-based Marquis-Larson Boat Group as part of the deal, but will boast the same design and quality ethos as Lexus’ premium car range. Look out for it in the latter half of 2019 or, if your bank balance is looking good, why not give Lexus a call right now?