There aren’t too many places on earth where the Toyota Land Cruiser, and its smaller sibling, the Prado, cannot reach. Its off-road ability is the stuff of legends. Now, a diesel engine that powers the Land Cruiser Prado in some markets has found its way into Toyota’s Ponam series of boats, letting the Japanese brand extend its supremacy to the oceans as well. The brand, which has diverse interest in fields ranging from sewing machines and prefabricated housing to telecommunications and forestry, launched its first boat, the Ponam-28, back in 1997, and all its boats since were powered by automotive engines tweaked for marine use.
The new boat, dubbed Ponam-28V sports cruiser, gets a 3.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel mill that puts out 256 horsepower, which should be good enough to let the barge cruise along smoothly over the sea. The Ponam-28V weighs in at a relatively light 3.5 tonnes, thanks mainly to Toyota’s Hybrid Hull construction, made out of a combination of fibre-reinforced plastic, aluminium, and carbon fibres. Toyota claims this makes the 28V’s hull much stronger and 10 per cent lighter than a comparable hull made from aluminium.
Measuring 9,140mm in length, and 3,100mm in width, the Ponam variant can accommodate up to 12 passengers. It’s also apparently easy to navigate as most of the controls are laid out in a similar way as in Toyota’s road vehicles. It also features an innovative ‘virtual anchor’ system that keeps the vessel over a fixed point.
As of now, the Ponam-28V is intended for sale exclusively in Japan, but if 19.2 million yen (Dh672,000) isn’t a big deal for you, we’re pretty sure Toyota will be happy to bring it over to your Marina berth.