Marquis Yachts LLC, makers of Marquis and Carver yachts, has partnered with Toyota Motor Corporation's marine division to engineer and build a prototype concept boat with a luxury mission worthy of the Lexus brand. The result is a sensually stylish, 42-foot open sports boat informed by the Lexus design language. The Lexus Sport Yacht made its debut on 12 January at a Lexus-hosted "Through the Lens" global media event in Miami, Florida.
The idea, two years in the making, came about when Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, was testing one of the marine division's new boats that use Toyota diesel engines. He wanted to see what a sports yacht inspired by Lexus design would look like. The result is certainly a step up the luxury ladder from the mid-90s when Toyota first entered the marine market with the Epic line of inboard ski boats.
The carbon fibre prototype, built by Marquis in Wisconsin, is equipped with twin Lexus V8 engines that share the same bright blue-painted intake manifolds as the Lexus RC F. Their combined 880 horsepower provide a top speed in excess of 40 knots.
"In building the Lexus Sport Yacht concept, we managed and administered a quality programme to their exacting standards and expectations: we'll apply what we've learned to all Marquis and Carver Yachts going forward," says Paul Liss, Vice President of Operations & Manufacturing at Marquis. "We worked with extreme tolerance levels to construct this boat: essentially these are aerospace-like tolerances and specifications."
Marquis also collaborated closely with Diesel Center Frabetti Design in Italy, and with the Lexus designers and Toyota Marine engineers in Japan, to meet the exacting quality and performance standards expected of a Lexus-branded product.
"This project used all the in-house capabilities we have at our disposal,” says Josh Delforge, Vice President of Design at Marquis, “including engineering, modelling, mould-making, lay-up of composite structures, metal shop fabrication, upholstery, paint and other techniques, to come to life."
The initiative follows forays by other premium automotive brands into the world of powerboat design, including Aston Martin with its AM37 and the Arrow 460GT from Mercedes. Unlike its high-performance rivals, the Lexus project was kept under the radar during development, but judging from the above images the two-tone dayboat is every bit as sleek and polished.
But don’t expect to see the Lexus Sport Yacht on sale anytime soon. Although the prototype is up and running, much like a concept supercar it is intended as a one-off project and sadly there are no current plans to put it into production.