Luxury sedans are great ways to shuffle executives around, but outside the US, the luxury minivan takes all the trimmings of a usual four-door and throws in a heapin' helpin' of interior volume, making it an even roomier way to get dropped off plane-side. Lexus has officially joined this exclusive fray with its new LM.
Lexus this week introduced the new LM at the Shanghai Motor Show. It will eventually go on sale in China and select other markets, but it's pretty unlikely that we'd see anything like it in the US. It's meant for executive transport, as opposed to minivans in the US, which are largely built to spend their days in Target parking lots.
The LM is about as wildly styled as a minivan can be. The traditional Lexus window flourish is smack dab between the front door and the sliding door, and the whole side of the thing carries some intricate sculpting. Up front, there's a grille so large it can probably fit another Lexus inside it, while the headlights look familiar if you've seen any new Lexus in the last few years. Out back, there's a positively massive set of taillights that cover the width of the car.
The interior gets even crazier. Two configurations are available -- there's a seven-seat configuration spread across three rows of seats, but the real gem is the two-seat executive configuration. The entire rear of the van is dedicated to two damned opulent reclining seats, with a center console between them that allows the passenger to manipulate the climate control, seat controls and infotainment. There's a massive screen on the partition between the first row and the rear, and if someone really needs privacy, the little glass bit above the screen can shift from transparent to opaque.
Under the hood, Lexus offers two powertrain choices. The LM 350 uses a 3.5-liter V6, while the LM 300h swaps that out in favor of a more efficient hybrid-electric system. Front- and all-wheel drive are both available, too. Of course, none of that matters to us Yanks, but somewhere out there, an executive is feverishly anticipating delivery of his fancy-pants minivan.