The Lexus Minivan Thread (LM debuts in Shanghai on 4/16)

Joe

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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.
 

Gecko

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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.
 

Ian Schmidt

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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.

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.
 

spwolf

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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? :).
 

spwolf

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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?
 

mediumhot

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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
 

spwolf

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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?
 

Gecko

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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

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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.

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.
 

CRSKTN

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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.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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OlFius

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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...
 

Rydo

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Looks production ready! and quite nice from the exterior.


I do feel the most underwhelming thing is the 26" screen


I can see why some opinions here are skeptical of the rear but I think its acceptable,
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.
 

Rydo

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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!
 
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