Photo/IllutrationToyota's prototype Lexus Sport Yacht Concept takes a trial run in Tokyo Bay. (Provided by Toyota Motor Corp.)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Toyota Motor Corp. is taking “cruise control” to the next level.

The automaker plans to release a speedboat under its luxury Lexus brand by 2020 to further expand its name-recognition from roadways to waterways.

The Lexus Sport Yacht Concept, a prototype, was given a trial run at an event in Tokyo on May 26.

The boat is 12.7 meters long and fits eight passengers.

Two 5-liter engines, the same kind used in the Lexus LC luxury coupe, can power the boat to speeds up to 80 kph. The round, aerodynamic bow reflects the elegance stressed in the Lexus brand philosophy, the company said.

And while smaller has proved profitable in terms of car bodies, Toyota is thinking big for its boats.

Shigeki Tomoyama, a senior managing officer, said the company plans to develop an 18-meter-long speedboat based on the smaller trial version.

“A large-size boat would be profitable and have a synergetic effect on Lexus vehicles,” Tomoyama said. “We want to release it before the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.”

Since 1997, Toyota has developed pleasure boats and sold about 900 units in Japan.