2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil


2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil

Three years since the original rolled onto the scene, UMW Toyota Motor has officially launched the new second-generation Lexus LM in Malaysia. Built on the bones of the fourth-generation Toyota Alphard that debuted in October (alongside the related Vellfire), the ultra-luxurious MPV comes with even more tech and toys, along with greater differentiation over its more pedestrian siblings.

For the first time, the LM is being offered here in two variants, differentiated not just by the powertrain (now consisting only of hybrids) but also the number of seats. A new seven-seater model joins the lineup in the form of the LM350h, priced at RM1,228,000 on-the-road without insurance, while the ridiculously plush four-seat layout has been retained in the LM500h, now costing a heady RM1,468,000.

The new LM may still be based on the Alphard and share much of that car’s mechanicals, but so much has changed that it now has its own AW10 codename (ironically shared with the original AW10/AW11 Toyota MR2; the current Alphard/Vellfire’s is AH40). Nowhere is this more evident than under the bonnet, where the LM is – in Malaysia at least – the only one of the trio to feature a hybrid-only lineup.

2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil

No longer does the Lexus have a six-cylinder engine – instead it’s powered solely by four cylinders. The LM350h uses Toyota’s tried-and-true Hybrid Synergy Drive, consisting of a 2.5 litre A25A-FXS Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated Atkinson-cycle engine producing 190 PS at 6,000 rpm and 239 Nm of torque from 4,300 to 4,500 rpm.

This is connected to an eCVT with twin electric motors, churning out 182 PS and 270 Nm and resulting in a total system output of 250 PS – all sent to the front wheels. So equipped, the LM350h gets from zero to 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 190 km/h, while combined fuel consumption figure is rated at 5.5 litres per 100 km.

Step up to the LM500h and you get an altogether more serious Direct4 all-wheel-drive parallel hybrid powertrain, lifted straight from the RX500h. This is centred around a 2.4 litre T24A-FTS turbocharged mill that churns out 275 PS at 6,000 rpm and 460 Nm between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm, paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox sandwiching an 87 PS/292 Nm electric motor.

2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil

A separate 103 PS/169 Nm motor drives the rear wheels, contributing to a total system output of 371 PS and 550 Nm. This slashes the century sprint time by over two seconds (down to 6.9 seconds), but the top speed also drops to 185 km/h. Given the extra power, it’s no surprise that fuel consumption has also increased to 6.6 litres per 100 km.

The differences between the Lexus and Toyota models extend to the exterior. For the first time, the LM uses bespoke sheet metal, meaning that it will be almost impossible for Alphard owners to make a convincing “conversion” this time around.

The side body panels with their intersecting shoulder lines are unique, as are the blacked-out A-pillars and the inverted body-coloured D-pillar fin. The window line also drops down at the B-pillars (instead of rising upwards on the Toyotas), giving the towkays at the back a better view out.

At the front, you’ll find Lexus’ latest “spindle body” grille (a development of the brand’s trademark “spindle grille”), coming with a hot-stamped satin finish for the silver inlays – a Lexus first. This is flanked by triple-projector LED headlights with upper and lower L-shaped daytime running lights. The intricate multi-spoke alloy wheels, which still feature noise reduction technology, are now an inch larger at 19 inches in diameter – finally on par with the Alphard and Vellfire.

Moving to the rear, the LM gets U-shaped full-width taillights joined by an illuminated bar, along with the Lexus script. As per the Alphard and Vellfire, the tailgate opening and closing buttons have been moved to the side near the taillights, preventing users from being in the way of the massive rear door. Unfortunately, there’s no hands-free opening or closing function whatsoever.

Another feature that sets the LM apart from the Alphard and Vellfire is Lexus’ e-Latch front doors, introduced on the second-gen NX. This enables the door opening warning function to be extended, preventing the doors from being opened if the car senses a passing car. As an added bonus, you also get soft-close doors.

2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil

Just like the Alphard, the LM moves onto the K variant of the Toyota New Global Architecture (GA-K), featuring MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension. For the first time, the LM gets adaptive dampers with frequency-selective valving, plus a unique Rear Comfort drive mode that reduces vibrations in the cabin. Active noise cancellation has also been added.

Measuring 5,125 mm long, 1,890 mm wide and 1,955 mm tall, the new LM is 85 mm longer, 40 mm wider and 45 mm taller than before, although the 3,000 mm wheelbase is retained. Against the Alphard, the Lexus is 115 mm longer, 40 mm wider and five millimetres longer. Boot space is quoted at 752 litres on the LM500h and 1,191 litres for the LM350h, the latter presumably with the folding third-row seats tipped up to the side.

Inside, the LM is just as bespoke as the outside, with a typically Lexus design wrapped in sumptuous materials. These include semi-aniline leather upholstery in either Solis White or Black, as well as Yabane herringbone matte wood trim and some Ultrasuede trim. Weirdly enough, only the LM350h gets a Bengala wood-trimmed steering wheel; the LM500h’s is full-leather as it’s heated.

2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil

In terms of tech, you get Lexus’ Tazuna infotainment interface again first seen on the NX, incorporating a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, a 14-inch centre touchscreen, physical climate control dials and the jettisoning of the awful Remote Touch pad. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto come as standard.

At the back, the four-seater LM500h still features two business class-style seats that are fully reclinable and come with an ottoman and heating, ventilation and massage functions (now operable through two removable smartphone-like tablets). However, rear occupants now gain access to a much larger 48-inch widescreen display, replete with a split-screen function and twin HDMI inputs to facilitate this.

The LM500h’s massive screen is mounted on a massive partition between the front and rear cabins, featuring a retractable electrochromic glass screen and die-cast magnesium frame for increased rigidity. Also unique to the more expensive model are a fridge, large twin storage compartments and an umbrella holder on either side.

2024 Lexus LM in Malaysia – posh Alphard/Vellfire, 7-seat LM350h and 4-seat LM500h, RM1.2mil to RM1.5mil

Relative plebs in the LM350h still get power-adjustable captain’s chairs on the second-row (again with the aforementioned tablets) and three seats at the back, plus a comparatively tiny 14-inch ceiling-mounted rear monitor. Both variants come with twin glass roof panels, magnesium folding tables with leather surfaces and powered sunshades on all rear windows.

The Lexus Climate Concierge comes standard with four zones and Panasonic’s Nanoe X air ioniser. Further differentiating the LM500h are infrared sensors aimed at the two rear passengers, identifying the temperature of four specific body areas (face, chest and upper and lower legs) and adjusting the air-conditioning to suit.

Standard kit includes keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable front seats and steering column, a Mark Levinson Reference sound system (with 21 speakers for the LM350h and 23 speakers for the LM500h) and a 360-degree camera system with a “see through” function. Unlike the previous model, you no longer get a front sunroof, and while Qi wireless chargers are still available, they are now only found at the rear.

Safety-wise, all models get the Lexus Safety System+ suite of driver assists, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert with auto brake. New for 2024 are a camera-based driver attention monitor, park assist and front cross traffic alert, also with auto brake.

GALLERY: Lexus LM500h

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