China

Video: The Lexus LM Luxury Minivan

Lexus LM Video

The Lexus LM luxury minivan debuted today at the Shanghai Motor Show with this video as an introduction:

The reaction to the LM debut has been mixed, as enthusiasts try to reconcile the addition of a region-specific minivan over a model more global in its appeal. If anything, this shows the brand’s ambition in China — here’s a translated comment from Lexus China marketing director Chen Hao:

Lexus users in China will soon exceed one million. In the future, we will stand in the millions and be the best. Through a comprehensive product lineup, fully meet the needs of Chinese users. Personalized needs, Lexus craftsmanship and unique ‘temperature luxury’ are passed on to more users. I hope that in the future, more and more Chinese consumers, together with Lexus, will be able to enjoy it.”

Comments
  • Joe
    Joe
  • April 16, 2019
spwolf
I am not being a critic of your opinion
OK, then that's solved ;)

I am just asking how can LM spoil Lexus image when competition has done it for years as V class or 2 series?

Why are Lexus fans looking at Lexus with different eyes than Mercedes?
Mercedes-Benz is a premium volume brand, with some luxury models. Lexus is a luxury brand, no volume contender. Mercedes has had utility vans since the seventies and the V-class is only just a premium version of the Vito delivery van. Same as the Multivan version of the Volkswagen Transporter. And indeed, that is comparable to if Lexus would commercialize a premium version of the HiAce.

But my remark on the Lexus image has to do with the execution. I am perhaps a bit exaggerating now, but for the general European taste, the Toyota Alphard can be considered in the same 'design' category as the 2005 SsangYong Rodius MPV. Just adding a Lexus nosejob and some chrome elements are not enough to make the Alphard into a true Lexus. Again, I am not really critisizing the 4-seater rear interior execution, just the overall product layout.
If you like, I could say the same about the Lexus HS 250h, a model with the looks of a Toyota Corolla/Avensis sedan with a Lexus logo. I was very happin in that time that we didn't need to commercialize that one in Europe.
Even the CT 200h is considered by many as too much of a disguised Toyota product, not in terms of styling, but as its driving characteristics are not much different than the outgoing Auris hybrid.

But if the Asian market is asking for such a luxury minivan, then Lexus does the right thing to offer it, as long as it is commercialized in dedicated markets.
I do not understand those who believe this LM will "print money to fund future F cars." Lexus has been "printing money" on LX, GX, RX and ES for two decades and Lexus' F strategy has never looked worse than it does right now.

A couple million dollars in gross profit from an Alphard-based minivan isn't going to result in an IS F or RX F. Lexus has clearly shown that F, nor performance in general, are priorities whether they are "printing money" or not.

With that said, I think the interior of this thing is nice. The exterior is exactly what I expected. Hopefully it's as much of a hit as some here have predicted.
This is actually a lot better looking than I thought it was gonna be. The Lexus front end works so much better than the Toyota one, and the interior looks genuinely amazing. I want to ride in one really badly now.

Gecko
I do not understand those who believe this LM will "print money to fund future F cars." Lexus has been "printing money" on LX, GX, RX and ES for two decades and Lexus' F strategy has never looked worse than it does right now.

A couple million dollars in gross profit from an Alphard-based minivan isn't going to result in an IS F or RX F. Lexus has clearly shown that F nor performance in general are priorities, "printing money" or not.
Well, no, but the parts bin could easily result in an IS F, and the idea of an RX F is frankly kind of terrifying.

And the previous printed money went a lot of other places. LF-A cost a lot of money to develop given they did one version and threw it away, TNGA was likely expensive to design and devlop, and they had the unintentional acceleration settlement at a price tag of $1.1 billion (not counting the actual court costs and legal fees). Rushing LC from concept to dealerships in the time frame they did probably cost a pretty penny, as did the weird bodge job known as the RX L. And of course they've blown a lot of money on questionable marketing stunts.

But regardless, all of the possible excuses have now run out so we'll see where they're actually going.
I actually like the taillights
Gecko
I do not understand those who believe this LM will "print money to fund future F cars." Lexus has been "printing money" on LX, GX, RX and ES for two decades and Lexus' F strategy has never looked worse than it does right now.

A couple million dollars in gross profit from an Alphard-based minivan isn't going to result in an IS F or RX F. Lexus has clearly shown that F, nor performance in general, are priorities whether they are "printing money" or not.

With that said, I think the interior of this thing is nice. The exterior is exactly what I expected. Hopefully it's as much of a hit as some here have predicted.
we have RC-F and GS-F and obviously LC-F is incoming, so now the issue is IS-F and... RX-F? :).
Joe
OK, then that's solved ;)



Mercedes-Benz is a premium volume brand, with some luxury models. Lexus is a luxury brand, no volume contender. Mercedes has had utility vans since the seventies and the V-class is only just a premium version of the Vito delivery van. Same as the Multivan version of the Volkswagen Transporter. And indeed, that is comparable to if Lexus would commercialize a premium version of the HiAce.

But my remark on the Lexus image has to do with the execution. I am perhaps a bit exaggerating now, but for the general European taste, the Toyota Alphard can be considered in the same 'design' category as the 2005 SsangYong Rodius MPV.
MB is certainly a luxury brand, coveted more than Lexus by buyers around the world, and especially in the Europe. So if Vito which looks like... Vito, does not destroy their image, or pickup based on old Nissan chasis, there is little chance that LM would do that.

Difference is that Alphard is highly coveted vehicle in Asia, that right now in Japan sells for more money than S class. I personally like their crazy Japanese designs, and of course it is little bit narrow and small to be luxury for Europe, but it is... vehicle built for Asia. So how about letting Asians dictate what they want from the car and not us?
I truly find astonishing how there is a big design gap between Toyota rebadges and genuine RWD designs both outside and inside. You can just tell there is something so off on every Toyota dressup such as CT, ES, NX, RX (probably the best Toyota to Lexus coverup job to date) compared to IS, GS, LS, RC, LC
mediumhot
I truly find astonishing how there is a big design gap between Toyota rebadges and genuine RWD designs both outside and inside. You can just tell there is something so off on every Toyota dressup such as CT, ES, NX, RX (probably the best Toyota to Lexus coverup job to date) compared to IS, GS, LS, RC, LC
what exactly are CT, ES, NX and RX dressing up? I guess you can say that for LM, or LX (even though LX is really the best possible version of LC)... maybe HS250h? But RX? NX? ES? Even CT has nothing visible that could tie it to... Prius?
Can I buy those back seats for my living room? :)
spwolf
we have RC-F and GS-F and obviously LC-F is incoming, so now the issue is IS-F and... RX-F? :).
We have RC F and GS F. The rest of the lineup is empty, and it's seeming like LC F and LS F are more of a pipe dream after years and years of rumors about "600+ hp TT V8." I'll believe it when I see it (though I hope they happen).

And more than that, what plan does Lexus have for high performance SUVs - you know, where the market is going? With theoretical LQ F probably being 3-5 years away, everything else is FWD based or BOF.
Gecko
and it's seeming like LC F and LS F are more of a pipe dream after years and years of rumors.
From what? They're already testing the LC-F and we've all seen the pictures.

LC-F is as close to real as it's ever going to be, prior to an official PR release and unveiling. Where is all this pessimism coming from?



zeusus
From what? They're already testing the LC-F and we've all seen the pictures.

LC-F is as close to real as it's ever going to be, prior to an official PR release and unveiling. Where is all this pessimism coming from?
We have heard rumors of "600+hp V8" as far back as 2013. Now we are coming into 2020 model year with no proof and I am simply losing faith.

- UX/UXh
- Dropping GS
- RX L
- Frankenstein RC (props to Lexus for so much great work at the recent refresh)
- Underpowered/awkwardly positioned GS F
- Botched 5LS
- LM
- 10 year old GX
- 12 year old LX
- Still no RWD crossover, but a concept that they sat on for 12 years (HPX --> LF-1)

While it has become hard to understand Lexus' focus, I think it is safe to say that performance is not near the top of the list. With falling sales of passenger cars and even worse sales of LC and LS, I will not be surprised if Lexus kills the LC F and/or LS F projects. They must be hard to justify at this point.

Back to my point: I do not think a $225k - $250k, China-only minivan is helping to pay for fun project cars. Lexus has had plenty of money for that all along and the list above shows where their priorities are... or aren't.
Gecko
We have heard rumors of "600+hp V8" as far back as 2013. Now we are coming into 2020 model year with no proof and I am simply losing faith.

While it has become hard to understand Lexus' focus, I think it is safe to say that performance is not near the top of the list. With falling sales of passenger cars and even worse sales of LC and LS, I will not be surprised if Lexus kills the LC F and/or LS F projects before they are born. Both must be hard to justify.

Back to my point: I do not think a $225k - $250k, China-only minivan is helping to pay for fun project cars. Lexus has had plenty of money for that all along and we can easily see where their priorities are... or aren't.
If it sells, and it very well might, given the cost efficiency from re-use of the platform you have just described a cash cow.
Although I can't say it's a direct Porsche Cayenne saving the 911 scale situation, but this could be a trade off. E.g, "You get these other projects, but we need to harvest cash out of Asia.".

Ultimately, I think between the airport lounges, the INTERSECT concept lounges, the Yacht, the attempted revamp of Lexus branded products, and now this, it's pretty clear that TMC sees the future of transportation as more than what it is today. It also seems like every time I travel I either see Lexus sponsoring some event in Europe, or has opened some new lounge/priority parking at airports i'm passing through.

They know that in the era of trusting machines to do more and more, reliability, safety, and quality are going to be more important than ever. That said, that will work for moving Toyota products but to move luxury products they need to continue to cultivate their image. It's hard to say what'll stick, so their approach is a bit broad, but i'm confident we will get some interesting products out of it at least.

Besides, this is already a market. There are plenty of after-market solutions for this exact purpose, even in north america. I think the idea of being able to get one of those, but with *Lexus* quality/reliability, is dead-on the mark. The UX hit it big as expected, and I think this'll sell too. Hopefully we get some flames out the other side.
Loved the Lexus LM commentary by two of the ladies of Jalopnik - Kristen Lee and Elizabeth Blackstock:

https://jalopnik.com/this-real-lexus-minivan-might-just-be-the-ugliest-thing-1834074196

https://jalopnik.com/lexus-finally-did-it-1834086962
Joaquin Ruhi
Loved the Lexus LM commentary by two of the ladies of Jalopnik - Kristen Lee and Elizabeth Blackstock:

https://jalopnik.com/this-real-lexus-minivan-might-just-be-the-ugliest-thing-1834074196

https://jalopnik.com/lexus-finally-did-it-1834086962
Car and Driver's Alexander Stoklosa's take on the Lexus LM, based on a Google translation of the Chinese news release, is hilarious:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a27169576/lexus-lm-luxury-minivan-photos-info/
Wow, apparently also available as a 7-seater. Really ?
Will probably not be included in the "Lexus Design Award 2019" catalog.
Anyway, in Europe we won't be bothered too much by it.
On to the next...
zeusus
Looks production ready! and quite nice from the exterior.

I am reserving full judgement for when there are some HD videos but the LM is just about as I expected.

I was pleasantly surprised by the partition like those seen in heavily customized Sprinters in the US that cost north of 200k. I don't geek out over the chassis as much as some fellow members here but I do geek out over interior design and options, the LM's interior leaves my imagination craving more especially knowing what Lexus is capable of. That steering wheel does not belong in there, as if they pulled it from the NX. It should've looked more like the LS on the inside with some beautiful decorative features and options but I guess that all depends on what the packages are and for what price.

I do feel the most underwhelming thing is the 26" screen, really? for VIPs? 26" is so 2010 there are widescreens that span 30-40+ inch these days for cheap. I don't know, its just ok. I'm really hoping for some good upgrades here but have zero expectation for screen upgrades as the 26" was announced as a key feature.

As long as the interior quality is flagship level like they claim similar to LC/LS, I will feel a lot better about it. Lexus needs to step up their interior design options game (the LS was great, LC just ok, that suede rioja red was dreadful and wouldn't be caught dead in it, Bespoke White on the other hand, amazing :thumbsup::thumbsup:), BMW is a distant lame 3rd, MB is still #1 at the flagship level with the S class, S Class Coupe, and Maybach editions.

In the end, I suppose Lexus is ahead of MB in this particular segment but this was really a chance for them to wow HNWI (high net worth individuals) Chinese with a great first impression. As some of you might've guessed from my pic of the LS from Chengdu's int'l airport, I visit China for business so I will be sure to go check one out in person and also ask friends what their thoughts are. Maybe if there is a chauffeured LM rental service, I'll try it out for fun.


I can see why some opinions here are skeptical of the rear but I think its acceptable, how good can one make such a flat rear end look anyways?
The LM is a production vehicle, what was presented is not a prototype so it will look exactly like this. The 26" screen is indicative of Lexus/Toyota's hilariously outdated approach to in-car technology vs. the rivals. The rear does look much better compared to what I thought it would look like! And certainly far better than the hideous Alphard/Vellfire clusters.
spwolf
btw joe, i cant believe you think Lexus Europe's image would be ruined by this... while not for us, it is way more luxurious looking than rebadged Vito - imagine Lexus based on HiAce? And still nobody cares in Europe. Nor they care about BMW 2 series MPV.
I completely agree, the V-Class is even more unsightly in my opinion and the dimensions and proportions look terrible - yet I still see enough of them on the roads!
Joe
But due to the technical limitations and the superb comfort as main USP it is very unfortunate that this heavy body panel design should be paired with 17" wheels.
I looked at the vehicle for all of about 10 seconds before spotting the hilariously small wheels! They do not match the scale of the other design elements and it is a total letdown. We can only hope that a more arch-filling OEM design might be offered...it is a real shame!
spwolf
What is wrong with LX? If anything, LC is an embarrassment at those prices, while LX is done right.
Who mentioned a thing about the LC? The LC has won Eyes on Design award among dozens of others. The European motoring media, notoriously bias, have sat up and taken notice of the LC and just how concept-to-reality it is.

The LX is a Land Cruiser with some different bits bolted to it.
Sorry to spam with replies, I couldn't work out a multi-reply system.

So just to come back and give my opinion now that the LM is reality.

I am very impressed by what I see! I have never liked the current gen-Alphard, and the render didn't seem flattering. The actual vehicle, besides the small wheels, looks like I would expect.

The rear light cluster is far nicer than that of the Alphard, and the even worse Vellfire. That night shot from the promo-video that was shared earlier in the thread looks great!

The front end looks fantastic - the grill is crazy but concept-car 'i wish they would build that' crazy - like the LF-FC that I still feel sad over not getting a proper production version of.

The massive disappointment, mentioned earlier, is the steering wheel doesn't appear to be that special! They should have went with the LS, UX wheel, but it looks like a dated parts bin job.

I am praying that the cruise buttons are at least on the wheels - criminal Lexus still have cars with the ugly little black stalk out of reach
Gecko
We have heard rumors of "600+hp V8" as far back as 2013. Now we are coming into 2020 model year with no proof and I am simply losing faith.

While it has become hard to understand Lexus' focus, I think it is safe to say that performance is not near the top of the list. With falling sales of passenger cars and even worse sales of LC and LS, I will not be surprised if Lexus kills the LC F and/or LS F projects before they are born. Both must be hard to justify.

Back to my point: I do not think a $225k - $250k, China-only minivan is helping to pay for fun project cars. Lexus has had plenty of money for that all along and we can easily see where their priorities are... or aren't.
Didnt that give us RC-F and LC itself?

And yeah, pretty sure LC-F will be shown this year, whatever the hp number is, there were hints lately in talks with various Lexus execs worldwide.
Rydo
Who mentioned a thing about the LC? The LC has won Eyes on Design award among dozens of others. The European motoring media, notoriously bias, have sat up and taken notice of the LC and just how concept-to-reality it is.

The LX is a Land Cruiser with some different bits bolted to it.
LC in this conversation is Land Cruiser :)

LX is ultimate version of Land Cruiser... did you ever spend some time in LX and LC? LX is just a lot better done LC, there is nothing not to like there.
OlFius
Wow, apparently also available as a 7-seater. Really ?
Will probably not be included in the "Lexus Design Award 2019" catalog.
Anyway, in Europe we won't be bothered too much by it.
On to the next...
I'm sure some might want it to come to Europe and that they should lobby Lexus to bring it to Europe especially the LM 300h.

Lexus please bring the LM to the U.S. especially to California. I would prefer the LM 350 since it has more power than the LM 300h.

I could see my buddy driving me to Las Vegas and I would sit in that comfy reclining chair nice and relaxed. Get to the hotel, check in, have dinner and watch a show then go party like it's 1999. Then the next day my buddy would drive me back to Los Angeles county while I sleep in that comfy reclined seat.

As for the LM 300h, it could used as an Uber Lux, Uber Black or Uber XL as it won't use up a ton of gas. I'm sure business travelers, celebs (Leonardo Di Caprio), etc would use it for trips to and from the airport, awards shows, concerts, etc...
There is an established market in China and Asia that will spend big bucks on a van. FYI in the USA a loaded Sienna can hit 50k+. So we are talking about a 70k van plus here in the USA.

Our market is different. People that buy vans here drive them, they don't have a driver. As much as I think its kind of cool, I just don't see many buyers for it here in the states. It would be some used unicorn when the prices come down and probably discontinued.
mikeavelli
There is an established market in China and Asia that will spend big bucks on a van. FYI in the USA a loaded Sienna can hit 50k+. So we are talking about a 70k van plus here in the USA.

Our market is different. People that buy vans here drive them, they don't have a driver. As much as I think its kind of cool, I just don't see many buyers for it here in the states. It would be some used unicorn when the prices come down and probably discontinued.
There is also a decently healthy market for van conversions into vehicles like this. They're viewed by some as a more inconspicuous way to travel in excessive luxury. Having a reliable, high quality version from Lexus is going to do well with those customers.
spwolf
Didnt that give us RC-F and LC itself?

And yeah, pretty sure LC-F will be shown this year, whatever the hp number is, there were hints lately in talks with various Lexus execs worldwide.
They would have somekind of HP boost right? I mean sub 500 would be just LC F-sport.
flexus
They would have somekind of HP boost right? I mean sub 500 would be just LC F-sport.
what i meant was whether it is 628hp or 697hp or 597hp :)

S
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