Hear the words “Honey, I’m thinking of getting a new Lexus for the holidays,” and you might presume your better half was pondering the purchase of a shiny new Lexus LS sedan or sporty LC coupe.
Maybe have it delivered Christmas Eve with a big red bow attached to the roof and a dusting of faux snow all around. You know, just like on the TV ads.
What you might not expect is for the Lexus in question to be a sleek and sexy, 65-foot, 2,000-horsepower mini-superyacht, base price $3.6 million, or $4.6-mill very nicely loaded.
Wait a sec, a Lexus yacht? You heard it right. Lexus is on a mission to become a true luxury lifestyle brand. They reckon that building a range of exquisite powerboats is one way of achieving that.
To help with its mission, Lexus has partnered with Wisconsin-based Marquis Yachts to build this spectacular 65-foot, super-luxe gin palace. And, happily for me, the folks at Lexus kindly invited me over to Boca Raton to take it for a spin. What, you think I’d say no?
The new LY, bobbing gently on the dock outside the historic Boca Raton Resort & Club, is a jaw-dropper. With its dramatic bow, expansive windshield, voluptuous hind quarters and rich copper-and-steely-gray palette, it looks like 10 million bucks rather than a mere 4.7.
The spectacular interior oozes Lexus-style craftsmanship, quality and elegance. In the light-filled central atrium, doors lead to three spacious en-suite cabins.
The full-beam owner’s stateroom is breathtaking, with its vast hull windows, sexy lighting and curvy cabinetry. The mirror-finished eucalyptus woodwork could have come straight out of a Lexus LS flagship sedan.
Our plan is to head out from Boca into the Atlantic and cruise down to Lauderdale. The forecast is enough to send The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore into a frenzy, with winds steady at 22mph, gusting to a feisty 28.
But I’m not going to back out now. We fire up the twin 12.8-liter Volvo turbocharged inline-six diesels and ease out of the Boca Raton inlet. Helming from the protected flybridge, we brace for the gnarly Atlantic rollers lunging toward us. Time to power up.
Alas, Lexus doesn’t build an engine muscley enough to drive the LY, so it has to make do with mighty 1,000-horsepower Volvos. On flat water these can thrust the 73,000-pound LY 650 to a top speed of 33.5 knots — that’s 38.5mph. That’s fast.
Push forward the throttles, hang on, and the LY’s flared bow lifts gently and scythes through the heavy swell. Despite the big Volvos spinning at wide-open throttle, there’s only the faintest hum from the heavily insulated engine room.
In the big seas, the carbon-reinforced hull does a stellar job of parting the waves, tracking straight and riding smooth through the washing machine-like water.
After an hour or so running at an easy 28 knots, I steer hard to starboard to enter Lauderdale’s ship channel. Despite the confused sea, the big Lexus carves oh-so-easily into the turn, shrugging off the whitecaps, feeling stable and secure.
I can honestly say that this LY has the best wet-weather handling of any Lexus I’ve driven. It may feel a little “floaty” over bumps, but that’s OK.
Could there possibly be a better holiday gift combo than this LY 650 and the gorgeous LC 500 Convertible? I doubt it.
A few lucky people may soon be saying, “Honey, I think we’re gonna need a bigger garage.”
To test-drive a road-going Lexus, call Lexus of Tampa Bay, Lexus of Clearwater, Lexus of Wesley Chapel or Wilde Lexus of Sarasota.