For a minute there we thought this was a joke.
It seems that despite the move towards SUVs, with luxury carmakers like BMW & Mercedes-Benz offering cars like the X7 and the GLS respectively to offer serious space in a desirable off-roader(ish) package, there are still a hardcore set that just want a people-mover. And while those have generally been the reserve of mass-market carmakers, premium brand Lexus has decided that they want to offer the Lexus of people movers.
It’ll be called the LM and judging by the darkened teaser, it’s based on the current-generation Toyota Alphard. In the CarShowroom office, the opinion of the Alphard is split between ‘hideous’ and a more forgiving ‘bold,’ but never pleasing. So a Lexus take on the big old thing should be interesting.
*Lexus teaser above, Toyota Alphard beneath.
It’s worth noting that trademarks for ‘LM350’ and ‘LM300h’ have been filed in various markets across Asia, suggesting that the new Lexus bus will make use of the 3.5-litre V6 that’s already found in the Alphard, producing 220kW and 360Nm. In the Alphard, power goes to the front wheels exclusively; It is unclear if the LM will maintain this layout.
But what’s more clear is that the Lexus van will make use of only the most premium materials for its cabin, and likely offer a variety of seating options, as per the van it’s based on. The Alphard is currently available in Japan as an 8-seater, a 7-seater, a 6-seater, or even a ‘Royal Lounge’ 4-seater with two business-class electric pews in the rear, separated from the front-most row of seats via a partition. We’re quite curious as to see how Lexus chooses to play this and critically, if this abomination will be offered in Australia.
We hope not.