Lexus Built a One-of-a-Kind Twin-V8 Sport Yacht to Impress the Young Folks

Japanese car manufacturer Lexus is making a big lifestyle play — and making waves.

“I would call it an art piece,” Marquis Yachts VP of Marketing Matthew Vetzner said. The 42-foot boat, piloted by Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda, rounded the corner, awash in smooth, sexy carbon fiber and cutting through Biscayne Bay like a light brown and charcoal submarine that had just surfaced for air. And I understood what Vetzner was getting at. The boat, which the company refers to as a concept rather than a “production prototype,” is a design showcase.

Typical maritime gauges are replaced by a 24-inch screen. The boat’s twin V8s, which are the seafaring versions of the engine found in the RC F and LC 500, roared on a quick spin around the bay, reaching a top speed of about 43 knots, or 48 mph. Is this really a concept, with no intention for mass production? Just a single big, beautiful marketing gambit that took three years to produce? I pressed Paul Williamsen, the project head. “Well, we’re all waiting with baited breath to see what you write tomorrow,” he said with a smile.

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