The Toyota Ponam-31 is the first entry into a "new class" of boats the company is calling "Sports Utility Cruisers." Looks like a regular-old power cruiser to me, but that said, it is a rather handsome vessel with a lot of cool tech.

It's a high-performance boat built for cruising, fishing, (apparently doing both warrants the "sport utility" moniker) and providing "comfortable accommodations for twelve people. No question there– that U-shaped sofa looks like a perfect place to play drinking games while the rest of the crew casts lines for dinner off the deck.

The boat can be driven from a command console in the cabin or an enormous flybridge on top. Helmsmen get Toyota Drive Assist to act as autopilot when needed and a feature called Virtual Anchor which "hovers" the boat at certain coordinates without dropping a weight into the water.

A 31' aluminum hull is powered by two 3.0 turbo diesel engines derived from what's in the Land Cruiser Prado (which shares a body in the US market's Lexus GX). The engines are optimized for marine use with different turbos, cooling, and fuel management to minimize noise and vibration.

And yeah, that "handle" on the back is meant to look like a car spoiler.

The Ponam-31 is on sale in Japan right now, starting at ¥29,700,000 (around $275,000).

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For those of you incredulous at the idea of Toyota being in the boat business, the fancy boat business to boot, I'll have you know the company has been making boats since they dropped the original Ponam-28 in 1997. All their seafaring vessles have automotive engines tuned for marine use.

Toyota says the name "Ponam" is derived from the Maori name for New Zealand's South Island – Te Waipounamu.

Images: Toyota