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Hagerty Employee

Toyota’s “Epic” powerboat failure didn’t help its reach toward the skies

In the late ’90s, Toyota was on a roll. Not only was the Camry sedan well on its way to outpacing the Ford Taurus as the best-selling car in America (a title it snagged for keeps in 2002), but the automaker was also riding the wave of its successfully-launched luxury brand. Lexus enjoyed considerable acclaim and more than a little profit from the outset at the beginning of the decade.


Flush with cash, Toyota went looking for new worlds to conquer. Having already achieved dominance on land, the Japanese automaker turned its eyes to the skies, churning out the twin-turbo FV2400-2TC V-8 aviation engine based on the 4.0-liter 1UZ unit found in the Lexus LS400. Although it achieved FAA certification, the company eventually clipped its own wings and abandoned plans to build its own airframe.


At sea, however, things were different. At the same time Lexus was getting off the ground, Toyota sought to bring its seemingly unstoppable momentum to the world’s waterways. Ultimately, Toyota’s marine business targeted the ski boat market in a bid to lure Camry owners with lake homes further into the fold ... Read the full article on



Extraneous "at".

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Addressed! Thank you!
New Driver

Nice article and very accurate. I was contracted by Toyota to write the owners manual for the Epic boats. Having worked with SeaRay, ChrisCraft and OMC, I was not impressed with Maritec, remembering it as being three or four storage units for the prototype construction. Due to lack of space the molds were often left outside in the sun. It was a nice boat to drive but did not get out of the hole like an iron block Chevy. I could never figure out why they went after the competition ski boat market instead of consumer runabouts.