How Is This Lexus LM Thingy Not a Toyota Alphard?

Illustration for article titled How Is This Lexus LM Thingy Not a Toyota Alphard?
Photo: Lexus

It has been said (by this website, no less) that the luxury box segment needs to exist. Something that a luxury brand that Lexus would contribute to. And it looks like that’s about to happen.

This is but a shadowy teaser of an upcoming model called the Lexus LM that certainly has the appearance of a boxy people-mover. The car will be revealed during a press conference at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show, according to a company press release.

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The automaker calls it a “luxury MPV,” which we know here in the U.S. as basically a minivan. And guess what? Toyota, which owns Lexus, already makes a luxury minivan called the Alphard. How luxurious is an Alphard? Well, our own Ken Saito once called it “the grandaddy of the luxury minivan.”

This is what it looks like.

Illustration for article titled How Is This Lexus LM Thingy Not a Toyota Alphard?
Photo: Ken Saito

Minus what appear to be Lexus headlights, the two look basically the same. Even down to the dorsal fin-looking B-pillar. You can’t tell me the LM isn’t the Lexus version of the Toyota Alphard. Which means that the two will likely share a platform and maybe engine options, too. But the Lexus will probably have more upmarket materials inside and come with a steeper price tag.

Will we ever get something like the LM or the Alphard here in the U.S.? It’s not likely, as these neat vans are usually reserved for the Asian and European markets. But one can hope.

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The LM will be officially unveiled on April 16. We’ll see how right I am then.

via Motor1

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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DISCUSSION

ash78
Ash78, voting early and often

Hard nope. Crossovers are already firmly established as the new minivan. Even Acura, who has phoned in their car decisions for decades, doesn’t even offer an Odyssey — they modify it into the MDX, which commands a higher price and presumably a higher margin than a van.

The fundamental problem with luxury vans is that vans are either full of Cheerios and vomit; or they’re full of airport passengers. Either way, the car is getting trashed, which doesn’t jive with the luxury mindset. Yes, people use luxury crossovers as family cars, but you’re not swaying them to a van.

One day in 25-30 years, vans will come back as “SportVanns” or something and suddenly they’ll be cool again.