Following two years of intense work, Lexus premiered the first Lexus LY 650 hull during the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Built by US-based Marquis Yachts with interior design by Nuvolari Lenard, the LY 650 aims to convey on water the luxury qualities of Lexus. 



The development of the LY 650 took place in collaboration between Lexus, its parent company Toyota Motor Corporation and Marquis Yachts, which designed the hull systems and managed assembly. The collaboration went on internationally, from Toyota City in Japan to the Nuvolari Lenard Design Studio in Venice to the Marquis manufacturing headquarters in Pulaski, Wisconsin.



Carlo Nuvolari, Director and Senior Partner at Nuvolari Lenard, comments:
 The realisation of the LY 650 has been an exciting and challenging process, unlike anything that we have experienced in our previous 27 years of yacht design. With stakeholders based in three different continents and from three very distinct cultures, it was a true melting pot of influences and styles, a genuinely ‘global’ project.



He also added on the process:

It was a really fascinating process; due to the volume of production that Lexus is used to, its teams are very well organised and have a highly structured way of working. I think that they, too, found it rewarding to be able to collaborate with and relate to experts from a totally different industry. Car manufacturers like Toyota are extremely precise and detail oriented because they are focused on small spaces, such as the cabin of the car. They work on a millimetric scale while, as yacht designers, we work on a metric scale – so we had to find a way to meet in the middle.



One of the greatest design challenges for Nuvolari Lenard in the project was to identify how it feels to be in a Lexus car, a luxurious but small space with high attention to detail, and successfully interpret it into the scale of a 65-foot (approx. 20-metre) yacht.



One of the crucial design issues was to ensure there were no sharp edges or straight lines throughout the interior. In a car, this is for safety reasons, to protect the driver and passengers from hurting themselves; but on the scale of a small yacht it becomes complicated. 

Nuvolari Lenard created a realistic representation of car-like curves, perhaps best displayed in the master cabin on the lower deck. There, the king-size bed features a floating, curved base and rounded headboard to convey the feeling of being in a cocoon, similar to the cockpit of a car. The desk, chaise lounge and doorway all echo the curves and rounded edges, resulting a in a calming atmosphere.



Another important objective was the materials’ choice. They had to be ‘marine-grade’ and meet regulatory standards, but they also had to ‘echo that premium ‘Lexus look’. Thus, the designers chose the same cream leather both for indoors and outdoors. They also applied leather with elaborate stitching patterns on such uncommon surfaces as door panels.



To complement the chic cream leather, a combination of dark brown and taupe tones were used in the cabinetry, soft furnishings and flooring alongside polished stainless steel hardware. The woods selection includes frisée eucalyptus and black lacquered walnut. The cream stone on the LY 650 meanwhile is new marfil marble, while the dark brown stone is dark emperador marble. As well as American-sourced leather, eco leathers have been placed in a number of areas.



Furthermore, LY 650 features vast amounts of glazing both in the open-plan main deck salon and the service and accommodation deck below. From the oversized windscreen that arcs overhead at the helm to the minimised mullions and large windows to port and aft, the salon is flooded with light and a sense of openness. The key glazing feature meanwhile lays in the master cabin, where with “floating” portholes. 

The stairway from the salon to the lower deck has been consciously designed by Nuvolari Lenard as an open and light space, with highly polished metal and wood. 



From the exterior, the model’s 'sport' flybridge set to the aft of the profile ensures the LY 650 keeps its dynamic aesthetic. The aft deck features a large U-shaped settee and dining table with a close link to the interior space thanks to the full-height aft doors and the exterior aft bar. 

Yet, helm is perhaps the part of a yacht that has the most apparent synergy with a car, and so it was especially important for Toyota to ensure that it has a distinctively ‘Lexus’ look. 



With the first hull debuting at FLIBS, the manufacturer states, a number of further units are already in production.

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