2023 Lexus LM luxury MPV debuts, previews 4th gen Toyota Alphard

Lexus has unveiled the next generation Lexus LM at the Auto Shanghai 2023 event in China. Since the LM is a ‘triplet’ with the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire, we can take it as a preview of what the fourth generation Toyota Alphard/Vellfire will offer.

The new Lexus LM measures 5,125 mm long, 1,890 mm wide and 1,955 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3,000 mm. While the wheelbase remains the same as the outgoing model, the new exterior measurements represents an increase in length of 85 mm, width by 40 mm and height by 10 mm.

Engine options for the LM for the Chinese market are 100% hybrid – either a 2.4 litre turbo hybrid with eAxle or a 2.5 litre inline-four normally aspirated hybrid system in either front wheel drive or an E-Four rear axle.

The 2.4 litre turbo hybrid system made its debut in the 2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance, where the 2.4 litre turbo engine drives the front wheels through a 6-speed auto gearbox, while an eAxle electric motor handles the rear wheels. Just like on the RX, this new turbo hybrid LM 500h variant replaces the 3.5 litre V6 model.

The new LM is available either as a 3-row with 6 or 7 seats, or as a 2-row with 4 seats. For seat development, passenger body movements were thoroughly analyzed to ensure a naturally relaxed state. he front seats optimize surface pressure distribution on the seat cushion to hold the body, regardless of the amount of G-force during turning. The goal is to achieve seating comfort that reduces fatigue and an environment that allows the driver to have dialogue with the car.

For the second-row seats, two types of shock-absorbing materials with different characteristics were used to gently envelop and support the passengers, from vehicle standstill to when the vehicle is in motion. In models with third-row seats, thick seat backs and cushions allow adults to sit comfortably.

Ride comfort has been improved by increasing the chassis torsional rigidity by 50% higher than the outgoing model, achieved via braces on the radiator support and rear underfloor, a straight rocker structure, and quarter pillar reinforcement. Structural adhesive used for the upper body and floor also helps to reduce vibration.

For the first time, Lexus features “AVS Suspension with Frequency-Sensitive Piston Valve”, which combines an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) actuator and a frequency-sensitive piston valve in the shock absorber. A new ‘Rear Comfort’ drive mode enables an emphasis on rear-seat comfort. The dampening force characteristics of the AVS are set to prioritize rear-seat comfort, while integrated control of the gas pedal and brake reduces posture changes during acceleration and deceleration.

For the interior, a total of 64 illumination colors are available, including 14 themed colors and 50 custom colors that can be selected according to preference. The “Rear Climate Concierge,” a Lexus first provides integrated control of elements such as air-conditioning, seat position, sunshades, and lighting.

The pinnacle of the LM’s luxury offering is the 4 seat model, featuring a partition equipped with a striking 48-inch wide-screen display in front of the rear seats.

A retractable glass partition above the display separates the front and rear compartments while offering a clear forward view, and assist grips provide easy entry and exit.

The rear compartment also features a refrigerator. The extension and retraction range of the ottoman has been increased compared to the previous model, while still maintaining ample distance between the ottoman and the partition. Heated armrests and ottomans are another first for Lexus.

Taking this further, a dedicated rear seat Warmth-Sensing IR (Infrared) Matrix Sensor located on the upper center portion of the partition detects the temperature of occupants and the parts of the vehicle that affect ambient temperature such as the windows, trim and ceiling.

The system then estimates the level of warmth or coldness the occupant is feeling in four specific areas―face, chest, thighs, and lower legs―and controls the air-conditioning and seat heaters in tandem to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the vehicle at all times.

The retractable table, which fits inside the armrest, is large enough to rest a tablet device or notebook PC. It has a leather-wrapped surface with improved texture and a non-slip, non-scratch finish.

In terms of safety, the new Lexus LM features a full Lexus Safety System+ suite which includes Pre-crash Safety, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (with all-speed follow function), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Abnormal Driver Response System, and Proactive Driving Assist (PDA).

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