18 April 2023
The LM is a completely new type of vehicle for Lexus in Europe, providing the ultimate luxury of a limousine in the format of a spacious people carrier.
This “Luxury Mover” is the fourth model in the Lexus Next Chapter, following the successful introduction of the all-new NX, RX and all-electric RZ SUVs. It is the latest stage in a complete product line-up renewal that includes new platforms, new powertrains and innovative technologies.
As its “L” designation indicates, the LM is a Lexus flagship model, alongside the LS saloon, LC coupe and convertible and – in eastern European markets – LX SUV.
Development of the LM, in common with all new Lexus models, has been wholly human centred. The primary focus has been on the comfort and well-being of passengers with a cabin that takes Lexus’s omotenashi hospitality to an unprecedented level. Every detail is designed to make passengers feel completely at home and perfectly cared for, whether they want to relax or work while on the move. Seats are designed for perfect support and comfort; the cabin environment is precisely controlled for temperature, air quality and lighting; and there is easy, intuitive access to connectivity and entertainment, including a 48-inch HD widescreen monitor and bespoke Mark Levinson 3D Surround Sound reference audio system.
Where the driving experience is concerned, the driver enjoys a natural dialogue with car and the constant comfort, control and confidence of the Lexus Driving Signature, supported by the high rigidity and low centre of gravity offered by Lexus’s GA-K global platform. For life on board, the application of craftsmanship and advanced technologies are faithful to the brand’s omotenashi vision of “making luxury personal.”
The LM’s addition to the range helps fulfil Lexus’s aim of offering more diverse products that cater for a wider range of customer needs and lifestyles. This is not a repurposed van – the LM is in every regard a dedicated passenger vehicle, in its own right.
The all-new LM will be available in the UK from autumn 2023.
THE COMFORT OF A PERSONAL LIVING SPACE, THE CONVENIENCE OF A MOBILE OFFICE
Lexus’s desire was to create a first-class interior that’s as a comfortable as a living room and has all the convenience of a mobile office, a dual quality unmatched by any other vehicle on the market. This is a space where passengers can enjoy complete relaxation and be their natural selves.
During the model’s concept development, Lexus conducted research with private jet manufacturers and hyper-affluent consumers. Their findings confirmed that customers perceive the highest standard of luxury to be when their surroundings make them feel completely rested, both physically and mentally. This quality is rated even more highly than having access to advanced technologies and functions.
Lexus has applied this learning to designing a vehicle where occupants feel completely relaxed with “no hassle,” personalised comfort. This is the Lexus omotenashi hospitality principle of making people feel as welcome and cared for as guests in your home. It includes simplifying interaction with on-board technologies – an important consideration for people leading busy lives. For example, a “one button” control is all that is needed to adjust cabin climate, lighting and seating to the user’s personal preference. By “making luxury personal,” Lexus enriches the time spent travelling.
Throughout, the ambience and the fit and finish reflect Lexus’s takumi craftsmanship standards, making the LM truly worthy of limousine status.
Two versions, with four or seven seats.
The four-seat model is the pinnacle of luxury, with just two multi-function rear seats and a wealth of features to make every journey supremely comfortable and enjoyable. These include a partition between the front and rear cabin, which houses a 48-inch widescreen monitor and glass panel that can be dimmed for privacy. The bespoke Mark Levinson 3D Surround Sound audio system has a 23-speaker array, while cabin comfort is enhanced by a more sophisticated Lexus Climate Concierge that uses thermal sensors to precisely control and direct heating and ventilation.
In the seven-seat model, the middle row of VIP seats is prioritised in terms of space and accessible functions and an additional third row is provided with three flip-up seats which can be folded away when more load space is required.
Seating designed for comfort and support
The position and design of the seats are critical to the quality of the on-board experience. Typically, those in a minivan are set high and have a high centre of gravity, so occupants are more likely experience side-to-side movement.
The new seats in the LM are designed to counter head-sway, so passengers have a stable line of sight, and to reduce uncomfortable low-frequency vibrations. They improve posture, supporting the body securely from pelvis to chest, and provide better pressure distribution for the lower half of the body. Side wires further help hold the body in place and keep the pelvis upright, so there’s less risk of the occupant adopting a hunched position.
The extended depth of the pillow-like head rests provides support from the top of the back rather than the neck, helping keep the body core stable. Extending, adjustable ottomans provide leg support. In the four-seat LM, both rear seats can be reclined to fully horizontal, airline bed-style.
The seat cushions are made of two different materials to give a soft surface on a hard base, and have a tilt function which prevents the occupant sliding forward when the vehicle brakes. As well as power adjustment, heating and ventilation they have an air lumbar support system with four settings so that the gap between the seatback and passenger’s body can be filled, absorbing vibrations.
Smartphone-style multi-operation panel
Quick and intuitive adjustment of multiple cabin features and functions is provided by a controller, designed like a smartphone. This can be used to manage the audio system, climate control settings, seat functions, interior lighting and the window blinds.
The new LM is also the world’s first model to provide a voice recognition function that responds specifically to commands from rear seat passengers.
The rear cabin has a sleek overhead console that incorporates door controls, storage for small items and temperature-monitoring sensors. Its central position helps maximise headroom.
The pursuit of perfect quietness
Perfect peace and quiet were a top priority for the new LM, qualities that are essential to its luxury profile. The development team took the original Lexus LS, as their inspiration, a limousine that marked a breakthrough in quiet performance.
The goal was a particular kind of quietness, one with a natural feel rather than the absolute, sometimes oppressive, “dead” quiet experienced in a soundproofed room or recording studio. Lexus likens the quality to walking through a silent wood in the open air – an environment that pleases all the senses.
Where the vehicle’s structure is concerned, sealing measures have improved the airtightness and clearances have been reduced between the doors and sheet metal parts. Noise-reducing wheels and tyres are used to cancel tyre noise at source.
In the cabin, Active Noise Control transmits reverse-phase sound waves through an audio speaker, reducing the build-up of low frequency noise when the car is moving. Its operation is precisely governed using a dedicated microphone to monitor internal noise, located in different positions according to the rear cabin lay-out.
In the four-seat LM, a non-sound-absorbing five-layer headlining is used, making it easier to hold a conversation. The partition’s sound insulation performance has been significantly increased (+40 per cent).
Mark Levinson 3D Surround Sound reference audio system
A bespoke Mark Levinson 3D Surround Sound reference audio system has been designed for both versions of the LM. The 23-speaker array in the four-seat model and a 21-speaker set-up in the seven-seater provide sound reproduction quality of the highest standard, creating the effect of a home theatre system.
48-inch widescreen monitor
In the four-seat LM, the lower section of the cabin partition houses a 48-inch widescreen HD monitor, positioned at the optimum angle for viewing. There are three viewing modes: full screen, cinema and separate left and right screens showing independent content (with individual left/right headsets).
Users can project content directly from their smartphone or tablet, or connect to the screen via two HDMI ports. The system can be used for entertainment, or for online business meetings.
In the seven-seat model there is a 14-inch rear multimedia display which can be operated independently from the one in the front console.
Lexus Climate Concierge with added functionality
Lexus has developed its Climate Concierge system for the new LM, extending its features and functionality beyond air conditioning to cover more aspects of the cabin environment. The breadth of service it provides can be compared to a personal “butler” ensuring everything meets the user’s requirements.
Personal preferences for the air conditioning, the rear cabin lighting, the window shades and the seat recline position can be selected with one-touch control, with operation tailored for each individual occupant.
The four-seat LM has thermal sensors integrated in the centre partition. These use infra-red surface temperature scanning of the occupants and the cabin to gain a more precise understanding of what level of warmth or cooling is required, and where. Local heating and ventilation sources are adjusted accordingly, including new neck heaters integrated in the rear-seat head rests. Vents in the centre partition have motorised registers that will direct air flow specifically to warm cold hands or feet.
Using nanoe™-X* technology helps the Climate Concierge to maintain clean and healthy air quality in the cabin. This adds microscopic water particles to the air flow which can inhibit viruses, bacteria and allergens, while also having a moisturising effect on human skin and hair.
The system’s precision extends to enabling different temperature controls to be set for different parts of the body – the head, chest, thighs and feet. For ease of use, there are five selectable Climate Concierge modes: Relax, Dream, Focus, Energise and, for fully personalised settings, My Original.
*nanoe-X is a technology developed by the Panasonic Corporation.
With the new LM, Lexus is delivering “ultimate Omotenashi,” with personalised luxury, comfort and well-being in every detail.
The centre partition in the four-seat model has a clear glass upper section, giving rear seat passengers a direct view of the road ahead. This can be opened or closed, and, when privacy is desired, it can be dimmed at the touch of a button.
The cabin is illuminated by indirect, ambient lighting in the ceiling and side trim, with further ceiling-mounted spotlights and, in the four-seat model, shadow lighting at floor level. The interior can be enhanced with a wide range of different ambient lighting colour settings, include 14 shades curated in five different mood themes: Healing, Relaxing, Arousing, Focusing and Exhilarating.
In the four-seat LM, Lexus has used a “hidden tech” approach, discreetly accommodating a host of useful features, fused almost seamlessly into the design. These include fold-out tables, wireless device chargers, storage points for small items, connectivity ports, reading lights and vanity mirrors. There are also individual gloveboxes in the centre partition, to the left and right of a refrigerator. There’s also a handy umbrella holder next to the sliding doors.
Outward view key to wellbeing
A closed-in feel can provoke car sickness, particularly when viewing a screen or reading. To address this, Lexus has made the LM’s windows as large as possible, so that passengers always have a perception of how and where the car is moving. In addition to the large side windows there are fixed windows in the roof and a clear view ahead through the windscreen.
Tazuna driver’s cockpit
True to the principles of omotenashi, the driver’s cockpit is designed with same attention to detail as other new Lexus models. Thus, the arrangement of the principal controls, meters and information sources follows the tazuna concept, so the driver needs only to make small hand or eye movements and can keep their attention focused on the road ahead. “Tazuna” is the Japanese word which describes the same sort of intuitive control a rider has of their horse, through gentle adjustment of the reins.
The cockpit layout contributes to the Lexus Driving Signature, helping the driver enjoy a constant sense of control and connection with the vehicle and comfort on any journey. To help make the driver feel at one with the car, the steering wheel has been moved closer to the driver and set at a more upright angle, and the position of the pedals and foot rest has been precisely calculated.
The front cabin has a broad, open feel with a simple instrument panel design, a large central multimedia touchscreen and a centre console with designed-in flexibility to suit the needs of professional chauffeur-drivers. Throughout, the space exudes the same craftsmanship, quality and attention to detail that’s found in the rear passenger section.
The driver can take advantage of advanced features that help keep them fully informed, including a digital rear-view mirror which presents a real-time, unobstructed rearward view. A Panoramic View Monitor uses cameras around the vehicle to provide a 360-degree view of the area immediately surrounding the vehicle, or a bird’s eye view, to help with precise manoeuvring in tight spaces.
Interior colours and finishes
The range of interior colours and trim finishes reflect the LM’s status and Lexus’s craftsmanship. Highest-quality L-aniline leather is used for the upholstery with contrasting piping. A new woodgrain trim will be offered in a traditional Japanese herringbone pattern, created with 3D printing.
EXTERIOR DESIGN: DIGNIFIED ELEGANCE
The new LM displays Lexus “Next Chapter” design, developed on the theme of “dignified elegance.” The result is unique and confident road presence with proportions that make for ease of use and manoeuvrability. Overall length is 5,130mm, width 1,890mm and height 1,945mm. The generous width, height and 3,000mm wheelbase are key to maximising space for rear passengers.
At the front a large lower grille section sits beneath a slim aperture below the leading edge of the bonnet, linking the headlights and generating the Lexus spindle body shape. The grille’s spindle form has been compressed to create a large lower section beneath a slim aperture running below the leading edge of the bonnet, linking the headlights. In side view, the vehicle’s flowing lines are accentuated by blacked-out front and rear pillars while an open feel is generated by the large glass area all-round. Easy access is provided by large sliding side doors.
Wheel options are 17 cast or 19-inch forged alloys. Colour choices reflect the LM’s prestige, including three deep-lustre “sonic” finishes.
AN ELECTRIFIED POWERTRAIN AND DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE THAT DELIVER THE LEXUS DRIVING SIGNATURE
Lexus sought to harmonise driving pleasure and ride comfort in the LM, qualities that can be difficult to balance. In ensuring the right Lexus driving “taste” was achieved, it was able to draw on the benefits of the GA-K platform’s quality, high body rigidity and drive, braking and suspension technologies that provide good dynamics while preserving ride comfort.
Hybrid electric powertrain
In the UK and Europe the LM will be offered as the LM 350h with Lexus’s 2.5-litre self-charging hybrid electric powertrain. The system, also featured in the all-new NX 350h and RX 350h models, is well-proven for delivering quiet, refined performance with high efficiency. Maximum power is 247bhp/250 DIN hp/184kW with peak torque of 239Nm.
As standard, it features E-Four electronic all-wheel drive, with an increase in the level of rear drive torque distribution to give the vehicle a stable turning posture and contribute to rear seat comfort. The system can adjust the balance of front/rear drive torque between 100:0 to 20:80 to give secure handling when pulling away or cornering on loose or slippery surfaces.
Sophisticated technologies for dynamic performance
On-board comfort is the focus for a series of drive, braking and ride features. These include Lexus’s first Rear Seat Comfort drive mode, which adjusts suspension performance and drive torque distribution and suppresses vibration, helping both the vehicle and its passengers maintain a comfortable posture. Automatic Smart Stop braking control, Pitch Control and a revised Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system are also deployed to help maintain a smooth and poised ride.
Delivering the Lexus Driving Signature
The LM is designed to have an authentic Lexus drive and feel, with the driver enjoying a natural dialogue with their car, true to the qualities of the Lexus Driving Signature – comfort, control and confidence at all times.
By design, people carriers/MPVs are tall and have a high centre of gravity, which makes ride quality more susceptible to the effects of crosswinds and road surface quality. Large doors and windows also have an impact on inertia performance and steering feel. To mitigate this, Lexus has made comprehensive improvements to the LM’s fundamental elements. These include adopting the GA-K global architecture platform, gaining the benefits of a lower centre of gravity and higher rigidity. The new body’s stiffness has been increased with extra welding, adhesive and bracing in key areas. At the same time, weight has been reduced by using aluminium and thin-sheet steel for external panels, particularly those furthest from the car’s centre of gravity, which also helps reduce body roll.
SAFETY: A COMPLETE LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM+ PACKAGE
The LM is equipped with the latest generation of Lexus Safety System+ active safety and driver assistance systems, as also featured in the new NX, RX and RZ models. These are able to detect an even wider range of accident risks and provide alerts and steering, braking and drive force support when required, to help avoid or mitigate an impact. They are tuned to operate in a way that feels natural and reassuring to the driver and their operating scope reduces the burden of driving, helping reduce fatigue and maintain driver alertness.
The latest portfolio includes expanded functions for the Pre-Collision System, including Emergency Steering Assist, and the Adaptive Cruise Control, together with Proactive Driving Assist for safer driving in slower, urban traffic. A Driver Monitor keeps a constant check on the driver’s alertness and will bring the car gently to a halt and trigger the eCall system to summon help if there is no response to warning alerts. The doors – including the sliding rear doors – are fitted with Lexus’s smooth e-latch electronic opening system, with Safe Exit Assist to warn of approaching traffic from the rear and prevent inadvertent opening that might cause an accident.
With the benefit of over-the-air technology, software upgrades can be seamlessly delivered, ensuring owners enjoy the benefits of the latest developments without having to take their vehicle to a service centre.
Customers can also equip their LM with an optional extended safety package. This includes Lane Change Assistance (LCA) which provides automatic lane change steering when the turn indicators are used in motorway driving. There is also the benefit of Front Cross-Traffic Alert which uses radar monitoring to detect and warn the driver of traffic approaching from either side when emerging from a junction at low speed.
Lexus LM 350h outline technical specifications
|Overall length (mm)||5,130|
|Overall width (mm)||1,890|
|Overall height (mm)||1,945|
|Front overhang (mm)||1,015|
|Rear overhang (mm)||1,110|
|Interior length (mm)||4-seater: 2,735 7-seater: 2,965|
|Interior width (mm)||4-seater: 1,590 7-seater: 1,655|
|Interior height (mm)||1,365|
|Type||Hybrid electric system with 2.5-litre in-line 4-cylinder engine|
|Engine displacement (cm3)||2,487|
|Max power (bhp/DIN hp/kW)||247/250/184|
|Max Torque (Nm @ rpm)||239 @ 4,300-4,500|
|Drivetrain||E-Four (Electric AWD system)|
|Max speed (mph)||118|