The second-generation 2023 Lexus LM has just made its global debut at the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show. Previously an Asian market-only model, the 2023 Lexus LM is now a global model that will be exported to more than 60 countries worldwide, including European countries.
The minivan’s body is now 85 mm longer, 40 mm wider, 10 mm taller. (5,125 mm long, 1,890 mm wide, 1,955 mm tall). Wheelbase is maintained at 3,000 mm.
For China, the Lexus LM will be offered with two powertrain options – a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, or a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated hybrid four-cylinder. Both variants will be paired to an all-wheel drive drivetrain, utilizing an electric motor-driven rear axle (eAxle for the turbo, E-Four for the hybrid).
Power output is yet to be confirmed. This powertrain will also be shared with the forthcoming 2023 Toyota Alphard / Vellfire, which is estimated to launch in Japan in the middle of this year.
Nobody questions the luxurious appeal of the Lexus LM’s cabin, but if it is to attract European customers who often their own luxury cars - as opposed to the typically chauffeur-driven Asian tycoon - the 2023 Lexus LM will need to handle a lot better.
The biggest challenge with improving the driving dynamics of a minivan like the Lexus LM is the big gaping ‘hole’ left by the huge power sliding doors. Sliding doors are excellent in making for easy entrance / exit. That and its low ground clearance are the main reasons why chauffeur-driven Asian tycoons overwhelmingly prefer an Alphard over an S-Class or 7 Series, because stepping in / out of a big room makes for a much more graceful entrance.
However, that big ‘hole’ occupied by the sliding doors also mean that chassis rigidity is severely compromised, which means that in the corners or over undulating roads, the chassis will flex, moving the steering rack and suspensions geometry quite a bit and making it difficult to trace a corner’s line.
For the 2023 Lexus LM, the development team said “securing body rigidity within this framework (of a minivan body) was paramount.”
The new generation LM’s chassis feature additional 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.
The result is 50 percent higher torsional rigidity than before. The suspension is now adaptive, combining Lexus’ Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with a Frequency-Sensitive Piston Valve. The damper characteristics prioritizes comfort for rear passengers. The acceleration and braking characteristics is also tuned to minimize body motion for rear passengers.
All seats, including the third row, now feature improved cushion material and impact-absorption to hold occupants’ body better across a wider range of driving conditions.
Depending on market, the 2023 Lexus LM will be offered either as a 4-seater, 6- or 7-seater.
As before, the 4-seater variant will be the ultimate in luxury, featuring a massive 48-inch wide-screen that supports Internet video calls, as well a retractable privacy glass partition, so the driver doesn’t hear what’s being discussed in the rear. There’s also a mini fridge.
Prices have yet to be announced, as this is just a preview. But as with the previous model, if you have to ask about the price, you can't afford one, and the 2023 Toyota Alphard is probably more suitable for you.
In Malaysia, the outgoing generation Lexus LM sells for for RM 1,208,000. It was first launched by Lexus Malaysia in 2019 at RM 1.11 million. More details will be announced later this year.
Also read: Priced from RM 1.1m , over 20 Malaysian tycoons bought the Lexus LM, 10 more paid for Kiriko glass in LS