The Mercedes-Benz V-Class could finally be getting a rival from another luxury brand.
CarExpert understands the next-generation Lexus LM, set to be revealed at this month’s Shanghai motor show, will be one of three new Lexus models coming to Australia by mid-2024.
Lexus said earlier this year each of the three models would sit in “new segments” for the brand.
Introduced in China in 2020, the LM is the brand’s first people mover and is based on the third-generation Toyota Alphard introduced back in 2015. The latter is a common sight in Australia, albeit due to grey imports as it has never officially been sold here.
Previously available in LM350 guise with a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6, there’s now only an LM300h now which uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid with all-wheel drive.
There’s a conventional seven-seat variant, but the real highlight is the four-seat version.
As with many other Chinese-market luxury people movers, including the Honda Odyssey Elite Edition, there’s a divider separating the first- and second-row seating.
On the LM, this divider incorporates a 26-inch screen on which you can watch blu-rays.
There’s no third row of seating, with the second row instead receiving palatial legroom and individual buckets that are heated, ventilated and which recline and massage their occupants.
Other luxury items include a 14L refrigerator with room for two bottles of Dom Perignon, as well as power-adjustable ottomans.
Standard on all models are Matrix LED headlights, 16-colour ambient lighting, power-adjustable front seats, a digital rear-view mirror, a Mark Levinson sound system, and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen.
The current LM measures 5040mm long and 1850mm wide, or 260mm shorter and 120mm narrower than the poshest people mover Toyota currently offers in Australia, the Granvia.
Those dimensions also mean it’s 100mm shorter and 78mm narrower than a Mercedes-Benz V-Class, which would be the LM’s most direct rival in Australia.
It’s unclear which other vehicles will comprise the rest of the trio of new Lexus models due by mid-2024.
Lexus has teased a new, large three-row crossover and a new small hatchback/crossover, while also previewing an electric replacement for the IS with the Electrified Sedan Concept.