Toyota Unveils 1st Minivan of Lexus Brand

Thus far, the Lexus has released mainly sedans and SUVs (sport utility vehicles).

Speaking about the launch of the Lexus’ first minivan, Lexus International President Yoshihiro Sawa said, “Our users started to require ultimate comfort realized by elegant, wide space in addition to high performance from vehicles.”

Toyota plans to introduce the LM, which will be the company’s flagship minivan, in China and some other regions in Asia.

Toyota has not yet decided whether to release the LM in Japan.

The vehicle was developed based on Toyota’s “Alphard/Vellfire” minivan, but the company differentiated the LM by changing mainly the interior.

The “LM300h,” which was unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2019, is probably expected to be used as a chauffeur-driven car. Unlike the Alphard/Vellfire, which has three rows of seats, the LM300h is a four-seat vehicle so the the luxury of the rear seats is emphasized.

Between the front and rear seats, there is a 26-inch display. Also, the vehicle is equipped with a refrigerator with an inner volume of 14L, which can store two bottles of champagne, Toyota said.

The LM300h is a hybrid vehicle (HEV) and equipped with a hybrid system combining a 2.5L gasoline engine and a motor. Its power train is the same as that of the Alphard/Vellfire.

To improve ride comfort, a “swing valve shock absorber” was employed as a shock absorber of the suspension. The technology that was employed for the first time for the “Lexus ES” high-grade sedan released in October 2018 was applied to the LM.

The swing valve shock absorber has a valve in the absorber’s oil passage to generate a damping force (passage resistance) against even minute movements.

Even if the stroke speed of the absorber is extremely low, it keeps the damping force. It improves stability when the vehicle posture is flat as well as ride comfort at the time of traveling at high speeds.