Lexus has been quite brave lately, letting loose and exploring the art of craft with a strong Japanese twist as seen with the latest family of cars. The flagship LS 500h, driven recently, for instance, incorporates some unique features such as the hand-pleated door panels and optional glasswork based on the ancient Japanese “Kiriko” technique. With this latest LY 650, Lexus will continue to examine its design identity, utilizing its heritage and showcasing the Lexus Takumi artisan skills, especially with the interior. Executive vice president, Shigeki Tomoyama, says his desire is to, “present a dream-like vision of the luxury lifestyle; one where the Lexus Yacht expands the potential of Lexus mobility to the ocean.”
Many of the features introduced in the Sport Yacht Concept have been translated into production for the LY 650. The study vessel was first revealed in January last year in Miami and in March won a special award at the Japan International Boat Show. Designed by the Lexus internal team, the idea was to find ways of exploring luxury and active lifestyles. It was also about looking into new materials and powertrains. For instance, the hull, inner structure and superstructure of the 42-foot open sport cruiser are made of hand-laid carbon fiber, vacuum-infused with two-part polyurethane resin. Power is provided by two marine-specification versions of the 5.0-litre Lexus V8 engine, seen in the RC F coupé and GS F saloon performance models and the new LC 500 coupé. The concept yacht was engineered by Toyota’s Marine Division and a single, working proof-of-concept was built also in partnership with the Marquis-Larson Boat Group.
With its 65-foot overall length, 19-foot beam form, LY 650 production yacht has a strong, pronounced bow, curved deck accents and accentuated aft hips. Viewed from the profile, the elegant rise and fall of the yacht’s roofline, echoing that of Lexus cars, flows into the rising broad hips of the rear section. The new yacht will have luxury staterooms below deck and space to entertain up to 15 guests. Connected services using the company’s new Mobility Services Platform will provide security functions, smartphone integration, remote diagnostics, maintenance and other services.
The yacht scheme forms part of a larger strategy to enter other creative worlds - non-automotive projects - for inspiration. This includes the annual design awards at Salone del Mobile, the film projects, culinary work and now yacht building. Company president, Yoshihiro Sawa, describes his vision for Lexus to “explore new ways to deliver innovative and amazing experiences for our guests.”
The first completed Lexus LY 650 is expected to be finished in the second half of 2019 and will make its global debut late in the year. Specifications, prices and other details will be announced at a later date.