LEXUS REVEALS ITS FIRST SPORT YACHT CONCEPT

The Lexus Sport Yacht concept was revealed by Lexus chief branding officer Akio Toyoda at Di Lido Island on Biscayne Bay in Florida.

The concept features advanced Lexus styling and handling and accommodates six to eight guests. It is powered by twin high-performance Lexus V8 engines and was inspired by the Toyota Marine Department's development of a new range of Ponam premium yachts that will soon be launched in Japan.

After being invited to drive the yachts Mr Toyoda was impressed by the power of the turbo-diesel powertrains and the handling and stability of the advanced hull designs. This led to the Marine Department exploring how a premium performance yacht could complement the Lexus lifestyle.

"This concept for a Lexus Sport Yacht allowed us to explore how Lexus design language could be applied to a maritime idea," said Yoshihiro Sawa, executive vice president of Lexus International.

The concept was refined throughout 2015 as the Marine Department engineered the construction and on-board marine systems.

"For the Lexus Design Centre 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," Mr Sawa said.

As a concept, the Lexus Sport Yacht is a bespoke one-off project with no plan for production.

It is powered by twin 5.0-litre V8 petrol engines based on the 2UR-GSE high-performance engine featured in the Lexus RC F coupe, the GS F Sport sedan and the new LC 500 luxury coupe.

Each engine produces over 328kW to drive the yacht at speeds up to 43 knots through a pair of hydraulically controlled inboard/outboard stern-drives. A bow-thruster with joystick control aids in docking.

Marquis-Carver Yacht Group, based in Wisconsin, was chosen to build the concept based on its engineering and manufacturing capabilities and its skills in working with large, hand-laid composite structures.

The upper deck and outer hull are seamlessly bonded around the inner structure. Each piece is a single massive hand-laid composite of two-part polyurethane epoxy resin reinforced with carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, or CFRP - the same technology used in the Lexus LFA supercar, race cars, high-performance aircraft, competition skis and bicycles, and world-class racing sailboats.

The Lexus Sport Yacht concept's unique CFRP construction saves nearly 1,000kg compared with a similar yacht constructed in fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP). The underwater hull design is stepped to reduce resistance or drag and improve handling balance at high speeds.

The captain controls and monitors on-board systems from a colour touchscreen panel at the helm. Screens show GPS navigation, digital charts, surface radar, underwater sonar, lighting and entertainment systems.

The forward passenger cabin is finished in luxurious Lexus leather with wood and glass details. A standing height sofa seating for six with a table, and air conditioning create a comfortable entertaining environment.

The galley features a two-burner stove, sink and under-counter refrigerator while the head includes a shower.

An integrated audio-video entertainment system is fully networked with 4G Wi-Fi & WAN. Sound reproduction is by Revolution Acoustics surface-mounted drivers using the ceiling panel as a transducer, powered by a Mark LevinsonReference digital amplifier.

The Marine Business Department of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) was founded in 1997 to develop premium yachts using advanced technology and quality control methods perfected in making Lexus luxury cars.