Although they might get a bad rep for not being “cool,” minivans can be some of the most unique and interesting vehicles on the market. Their spacious size and clever packaging allows for design and functionality that cannot be found in any other type of family hauler. Lexus proves as such with the debut of its flagship luxury MPV, the LM, a wild-style van that can be ordered as a sort of personal private limousine with a 26-inch screen. Sadly, it’s only for China and other Asian markets.
Based on the Toyota Alphard, the LM caters to a Chinese market that places major importance on luxury and comfort for the on-the-go business professional. That means privacy and space, so in addition to a seven-seater configuration, the LM can be ordered in a four-seat chauffeur setup. It includes two gigantic reclining captain chairs (separated by an armrest with built-in touch control panel), a partition with power glass and a built-in 26-inch screen, a 14-liter fridge, umbrella storage, and a 19-speaker sound system. To ensure optimal tranquility, the van has double-layer noise-reducing glass.
No matter the intended use of minivans, whether for an executive or a sleepy four-year-old, one of their strengths is ride comfort. Lexus says the LM uses swing valve shock absorbers, a technology that was introduced on the cushy Lexus ES, to maintain an undisturbed and balanced ride.
In addition to the choice of seat layout, buyers will have the choice between two drive setups and two powertrains. The LM 350 will have a 3.5-liter engine, while the LM 300h will use hybrid power with a 2.5-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine. The LM will be available in front- or all-wheel drive.
As for the styling, well, it builds on the already extreme exterior of the Alphard, with slightly more chrome. The spindle grille has never been a passive feature, and this is one of the biggest applications Lexus has ever approved for production. The body, however, features muscular curves and sharp lines for an overall sleek effect. It is available in black and pearl white paint schemes. Just not for the U.S. market.