Toyota trades miles for knots with new Ponam-35 boat

Toyota doesn't just make crafts for landlubbers. The Japanese automaker is venturing into the ocean, and this isn't the first time that Toyota engineers have put on life jackets. In the late 90's, Toyota tried its hand at building a boat targeted at towable watersports enthusiasts. The Toyota Epic was a Lexus-engined ski boat that was built for a few years before the automaker backed away in 2001. Now, Toyota is ready to head to sea with a very different type of craft.

Called the Ponam-35, this nearly 40-foot cruiser is a stylish ship that gets power from two diesel V8 engines sourced from the Toyota Land Cruiser. The twin 4.5-liter eight-cylinder mills produce a combined 730 horsepower, which should be sufficient to get the nearly 19,000-pound craft up to speed. Inside the Ponam-35, 12 passengers can enjoy the interior space, while up top, the fly bridge is rated to support five.

Toyota says that the Ponam-35 is just the first example in the Ponam line, which will consist of boats adept at both pleasure cruising and light fishing duty. The automaker/boatmaker is looking to sell 15 units per year. That's a reachable goal considering the Ponam-35 starts under a million bucks, with a base price of 59,010,000 yen or approximately $765,271.

Click past the jump to read the full press release and get the full specs on Toyota's maritime adventure.
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TMC Launches New Leisure Boat Model in Japan

Toyota City, Japan, September 6, 2011-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces the launch in Japan today of its newly developed leisure boat, the "Ponam-35" 1.

The Ponam-35-first of a new class in the Ponam series-is a premium cruiser ideal for pleasure cruising and fishing that also offers comfortable accommodation. It features a rigid hull of a high-strength aluminum alloy-a popular Ponam feature, a new 4.5-liter engine derived from the Toyota "Land Cruiser"2 SUV, as well as excellent operability achieved with technology adapted from Toyota automotive technology.

Annual sales target: 15 units
Manufacturer's suggested retail price3: 59,010,000 yen (56,200,000 yen excluding consumption tax).

Main Features

Dynamic and flowing exterior

Reflecting the form-modeling expertise acquired by years of handling the complex curved surfaces used in vehicle design, the Ponam-35 features elegant curves. The gunwale line flows backward from the bow and the unique design of the windows contributes to an elegant exterior design characteristic of the Ponam-35.

The expansive cabin-door eaves provide a shield against the sun and rain, while also creating an attractive rear view.

Interior combines function with elegance

The cabin features a layout designed to facilitate ease of passenger movement, and is characterized by an overall theme of contrasting white and black with effective additions of deep blue and silver to create a refined and relaxed atmosphere.

The cabin interior is fitted with a relaxing five-seat sofa and ample storage space, while the owner's private room features a spacious bed and storage area.

The galley at the rear of the cabin emphasizes functionality with placement of the sink, storage shelves, refrigerator, microwave oven and work surfaces aimed at ease of use and access.

Refined basics for exemplary seaworthiness

The hull is made with high-strength A5083 aluminum alloy, which ensures higher rigidity, strength, durability and fracture resistance than fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP). The aluminum-alloy structure also serves to reduce the effects of stress and vibrations caused by wave impacts as well as reducing sound reverberations.

The Ponam-35 is equipped with two V8-cylinder engines with common rail systems that perform computer-controlled fuel injection-a first4 for a Japan-made leisure boat. The engines are a version of the Land Cruiser 4.5-liter V8 diesel engine modified for boat use, which combine high output and low emissions while achieving low levels of vibration and noise for greatly improved quietness.

Highly reliable control technology and cutting-edge equipment

The boat is fitted with an auto-flap function that uses proprietary Toyota control technology to automate list-correcting flap operation, difficult even for experienced operators. When sensors detect listing, flaps are operated automatically to adjust the boat to the optimal position, thereby lessening stress from wave impacts.

Toyota Drive Assist allows computer control of the auxiliary propeller in the bow thruster and the two main propellers, so that mooring and casting off can be carried out using just a single joystick. This user-friendly interface enables inexperienced operators to carry out docking and other complicated maneuvers difficult even for veteran sailors.

Other standard, cutting-edge features include an intercom system that ensures smooth communication between cabin and fly bridge, and windshield wipers that automatically activate when they detect spray or rainfall.

Going forward, TMC will continue to promote its marine business by developing attractive products designed to provide rewarding leisure time and support lifestyles.

Main Specifications
Length/width - 11.95 m/3.94 m
Weight - 8,400 kg
Total tonnage - 10 tons

Model - M1VD-V
Displacement - 4,461 cc ×2
Output - 272 kW (370 PS) ×2

Hull - Aluminum alloy

Fuel tank - 850 liters
Freshwater tank - 170 liters

Capacity - 12 persons
Fly bridge - 5 persons

Navigable sea areas - Inshore

1"Ponam" is taken from Waipounamu, which in Maori mythology means whale
2Non-domestic version
3Does not include optional features and legally required safety equipment, launch costs, delivery costs, and others
4As of August 31, 2011, according to TMC

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