How the Lexus LY 650 superyacht is revolutionising the luxury lifestyle brand
For so long, Lexus has been struggling to prove its worth as a luxury brand to many who still see the marque as makers of practical and reliable cars – not that there’s anything wrong with that. But when Akio Toyoda himself, CEO and President of Toyota, also felt embarrassed when someone had commented to him that “Lexus [made] boring cars”, it was all the push he needed for him to rethink what else Lexus could do to elevate its presence in the luxury lifestyle market.
This was how the Lexus LY 650 came to be. Making its debut in Boca Raton, Florida in September last year, the Lexus LY 650 comes after two-and-a-half years of development. Sharing his thoughts at the yacht’s debut press conference, Toyoda mentioned that to transform the brand positioning of Lexus, they had to think of Lexus beyond the road, thus leading to the concept of building a yacht to fit in with the revolutionary lifestyle space he desired Lexus to have.
For him, it was a decision that would propel Lexus, and Toyota as a whole, from an automaker into a mobility company. “Once we said that we would like to give access to all the people on earth the freedom of mobility, cars alone would not be able to fulfil that objective. That’s why we have decided to transition into a mobility company and not just as a car manufacturer,” said Toyoda.
Everything about the Lexus LY 650 stands out. Out on the mariner where other yachts are docked, the Marquis Yachts-designed beauty is a bronzed goddess floating in the midst of white yachts that are almost indistinguishable apart from their names.
The 65ft-long Lexus LY 650 stuns onlookers with its design too. A collaboration between the marque and Marquis Yachts from Wisconsin, USA, the flagship yacht is instantly recognisable as an embodiment of the Lexus “CRAFTED” philosophy that accentuates exquisite attention to detail and anticipatory hospitality.
In coming up with the Lexus LY 650, it would have been easy to slap the brand name of Lexus on an already developed yacht but the choice to work with Marquis Yachts was deliberate. Knowing that Lexus did not have the expertise to build a yacht, they went with a brand that has had years of yacht building and designing experience. Following Lexus’ own principles in design and production, Marquis Yachts are also skilled craftspeople whose takumi (artisan) craftsmanship really shine through with each hand-moulded and custom-painted hull, extensive custom-fitted and finished real wood trim and fabricated furniture components, and hand-sewn seat surface materials.
The partnership between the two brands was meant to be mutually beneficial. “One of the areas Toyota could make a contribution to benefit Marquis Yachts was in the Toyota Production System. We thought that by helping in vehicle building, we could have a much more meaningful and long-lasting relationship together,” said Toyoda.
The flybridge cruiser retains the vibrant form and beautiful curved lines of the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept and is both elegant and sporty. Its strong and pronounced bow and dynamic hull boasts one of the widest beams in its class. Lexus also makes its mark with its coupe-like roofline and accentuated aft hips that stress the high level of its cruising performance.
From the deck, Lexus collaborated with Italian yacht design studio Nuvolari Lenard to exemplify luxurious living within its seemingly small but extremely spacious interiors. Italian and Japanese design philosophies come together here to amplify omotenashi (Japanese hospitality that anticipates needs of guests) with a bright, white-themed interior, and curving lines and creative lighting to provide a sense of comfort.
A neutral palette and wood panelling add a touch of tranquillity to passengers on the yacht, while furniture is laid out on the perimeter to create an openness that allows passengers to move from one area to the next seamlessly. This design concept is carried out below the salon as well, where three elegant berths, each with private head with shower and generous 6ft, 6in of headroom reside. The Lexus ‘L’ motif isn’t lost within the interior at all, and can be spotted in the details, like in the lights and on the wood-panelled floors.
The Lexus LY 650 doesn’t just look like a Lexus, it is powered like a Lexus as well. Engineered to provide both cruising comfort and dynamic response, it is powered by twin Volva Penta® IPS engines that are integrated with a unique underwater-hull shape that allows the yacht to achieve not just a high output and low fuel consumption, but also exceptional cruising stability and manoeuvrability.
LEXUS LY 650 SPECIFICATIONS
Overall length: Beam (width): Engine options:
Fuel capacity: Water capacity: Sleeping quarters:
65 feet, 5 inches
18 feet, 11 inches
Two Volvo Penta® IPS producing 1350, 1200 or 1050 HP (each) 4,012 litres
3 staterooms (for up to six people)