This is it, the new Lexus LM. You don’t need to be a car expert to know that it’s a Lexus-badged Alphard, but that’s not a bad thing since the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire are very much the rich man’s limo of choice in our part of the world. And that’s where Lexus is aiming the LM at – this isn’t a global product, but one that is “soon to be available in China and select Asian markets.”

Now, the Alphard and its slightly sportier Vellfire sister can be had in standard and Executive Lounge specification, with the latter boasting higher-spec captain seats in the middle row. These two individual chairs are larger than regular items and have massage functions.

A much less common sight at the valet parking is the Royal Lounge. This ultimate Alphard/Vellfire spec transforms the boxy MPV into a four seater, with just two chairs behind the cockpit. The seats are even plusher than Exec Lounge items (fully reclinable to a flat bed), there’s a partition between the cockpit and cabin for privacy, and the entertainment system includes a big screen and JBL sound bar. There’s also a mini fridge.

For the Lexus LM, the Royal Lounge is the spec to beat, and it does that via the details. Described as “an unrivalled chauffeured experience,” the brand’s first MPV is also a four-seater like the Royal Lounge. The two boss seats are stuffed with plush low-density urethane foam that offers ideal support with couch-like comfort, Lexus says. They are cooled using suction ventilation.

The “ultimate comfort space” also comes with a 26-inch screen, fridge, umbrella storage, and centre console with a touch control panel. The latter controls the seat position, relaxation function, climate control and Mark Levinson audio. The latter is an obvious upgrade over the Royal Lounge’s JBL sound, while the screen is two inches wider.

This being a Lexus, there’s bound to be some exotic sounding craftsmanship story. The LM comes with loads of soft leather and the newly-developed Gin-Sui-Boku (Silver Ink) ornamentation inspired by the art of ink wash painting.

There aren’t pictures here, but the LM can also be had as a seven-seater for business people who also intend to use it as family transport. This Executive Lounge-style three-row format offers individual luxury bucket seats for the first two rows and a third row bench. The middle row seats are distinguished by larger, more supportive armrests, Lexus says.

The Lexus LM will be offered with two engines. The LM 350 is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine while the LM 300h seen here is a hybrid with a 2.5 litre Atkinson four-cylinder engine. One can choose from front-wheel drive or AWD. Ride comfort is handled by swing valve shock absorber technology, first introduced on the Lexus ES.

The Alphard body wears Lexus’ trademark spindle grille, which is chrome plated with flowing accents here. Flanking the massive grille are sharp triple beam LED headlamps with the brand’s signature ‘tick’ daytime running lights.

Moving to the side, look for the shiny bits to distinguish the Lexus – dual arrowhead chrome ornamentation on the centre pillar and those elaborate wheels. At the back, the LM stands out with full-width lights and a chrome bridge. Both extend into the sides. Only two colours are available: black and pearl white.

“Compared to traditional luxury vehicles, Lexus envisions a luxury environment creating a personal space that helps occupants perform better in business and also maximises time when on the move,” Lexus says. So, this or a traditional limousine like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class/Maybach, BMW 7 Series and Lexus’ own LS?



GALLERY: Toyota Alphard and Vellfire Royal Lounge