The second generation of the Lexus LM luxury people mover has been revealed, and it’s coming to Australia.
Lexus says local launch timing, specification and pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.
It has previously indicated it will launch three new models in three new segments for the brand by mid-2024, so the LM should therefore arrive over the next 12 months or so.
Revealed in Shanghai, where plush people movers are abundant, the LM measures 5125mm long, 1890mm wide and 1945mm tall on a 3000mm wheelbase.
That makes it 30mm shorter, 95mm narrower and 190mm taller than a Kia Carnival on a 90mm shorter wheelbase. It’s also smaller than the Toyota Granvia, currently the poshest people mover the company offers locally.
The latest LM ditches the 3.5-litre V6 of the old car in favour of the 2.4-litre turbocharged hybrid “similar” to that of the RX500h F Sport Performance. In the people mover, this option wears LM500h badging.
This engine will be available only in the flagship four-seat model, with three-row versions sticking with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.
“Combined with the choice of two hybrid powertrains and a full suite of active safety technologies, the all-new LM will be sure to delight customers who demand the ultimate comfort and convenience of a personal luxury suite,” said Lexus Australia chief executive John Pappas, seemingly hinting both powertrains are coming here.
Three-row models are available in either six- or seven-seat layouts, with two-row models offering four seats.
In four-seat guise, there’s a partition between the two rows, the upper part of which has a plate of smoked glass and boasts a 48-inch widescreen display that can be used to watch media or conduct meetings.
The second row comprises individual captain’s chairs with armrests and a retractable ottoman, with a centre armrest including a retractable table finished in non-slip leather trim that’s large enough for a laptop.
Regardless of rear seat layout, Lexus has included a “detachable touch-type multi-operation controller” for adjusting settings in the rear, with two multi-operation panels available on the second-row seats’ armrests.
The new LM debuts a Rear Climate Concierge, which provides “holistic control” of the air-conditioning, seat position, sunshades, lighting and other features. There are four preset modes, though users can tweak settings further.
Lexus says the rear of the cabin is constantly monitored by a thermal matrix sensor that detects ambient and occupant temperature, estimating the temperature across occupants’ face, chest, thighs and lower legs and adjusting the air-conditioning and seat heating accordingly.
It has also employed second-row seats that use two types of shock-absorbing material to “gently envelop” occupants, while the third-row seats have thickened backs and cushions to ensure they’re comfortable for adults.
The ambience is completed with 64-colour ambient lighting.
Lexus says it has worked to minimise noise, vibration and harshness. One way it has done this is by using a non-absorbent headliner “to create subtle, natural sound reflection” in the cabin.
It says it has also strengthened the chassis by 1.5 times, applying bracing to the rear underfloor, radiator support, quarter pillars and other areas.
The LM gains Adaptive Variable Suspension, while a new Rear Comfort drive mode prioritises what its name suggests, minimising pitch and roll during acceleration and deceleration.
Externally, the LM follows a similar design theme to the outgoing Asia-exclusive model with an enormous spindle grille.
Unlike the old car, the grille is closed-off at the top, giving it a familial resemblance to the latest RX. The D-pillar treatment with its quasi-floating effect also gives off RX vibes.
The LM rides on either 17- or 19-inch alloy wheels.
The luxury people mover’s local launch is part of a more global push for the vehicle, which will be made available in more than 60 countries.
Introduced in China in 2020, the LM was the brand’s first people mover. It’s based on the third-generation Toyota Alphard introduced back in 2015, which is a common grey import in Australia.
In Australia, its key rival will be the Mercedes-Benz V-Class.