Toyota's Making A New...Boat?

Here's a little-known fact: Toyota has been making boats since the late 1990s. It shouldn't, therefore, come as such a shock that it's just dropped a new boat, the Ponam-31


Toyota's calling it a "Sports Utility Cruiser"—something it claims is an entirely new genre of boat that is the equivalent of a Land Cruiser for the sea. In a very real sense, it is a Land Cruiser...ish: the Ponam-31 is powered by a pair of diesel engines taken straight from the Land Cruiser Prado.

Basically, it's a 31-foot (hence the name) aluminum boat that's intended to be somewhere in between a speedboat and a luxury yacht.

That means while you're up top skimming the waves, you can have up to 12 people below deck, even though they'll probably spend much of their time yelling at you to slow down, since the furniture's all rearrangeable. (You order it with whatever arrangement you like.)

Sitting up top, though, is where Toyota's involvement really starts to shine through. You can get it with Toyota Drive Assist, which means it'll help keep you in the right boating lane and maintain your speed. It also features what Toyota's calling a virtual anchor system that takes over the boat's controls to maintain your exact position and heading without having to drop a real anchor.

In other words, it leaves you free to do pretty much whatever you want. You're on a boat, after all. 

Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He has On a Boat stuck in his head now.