[UPDATE] In a surprise announcement, Lexus has revealed it will bring the new LM to Europe.
Four years ago, Lexus took just about everyone by surprise when it unveiled the LM at the Auto Shanghai 2019. It was a luxed-up version of the Toyota Alphard for the Chinese market where posh minivans are an important niche as not everyone wants to drive a fancy SUV or be chauffeured in one. Next week at the very same show in the People's Republic, an "all-new" LM will make its official debut.
Lexus isn't releasing any details about the new LM but the adjacent teaser image suggests it’s a second-generation model rather than a facelift for the Alphard in a tuxedo. We've attached images of the outgoing model and it's easy to see the rear pillar is different. The outline of the taillight has a different shape while the quarter glass appears a tad smaller on the new model.
2019 Lexus LM
Going up against the Buick GL8 Century, the forthcoming LM is an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) rather than a minivan, or at least that's what Lexus wants us to believe. It remains to be seen whether it'll be a model separate from the Alphard or if the 2024 LM is also a preview of Toyota's fourth-generation minivan. After all, the mainstream minivan has been around since 2015, with a facelift applied in 2018, so a revamped model is overdue.
These high-end minivans can get extremely expensive in China where a four-seat LM with all the bells and whistles can cost well over $200,000. The aforementioned Buick GL8 Century can also reach six figures if you tick every box on the options list.
Customers are truly spoiled for choice in the world's most populous country (or is that India?) considering that aside from premium SUVs and minivans, many international luxury brands build long-wheelbase sedans in the country. There are even stretched SUVs in China, a hugely competitive market where domestic brands are catching up.
The Auto Shanghai 2023 will start on April 18 with the first press day and end on April 27 with the final public day.