Lexus is planning to launch a luxury MPV in the Indian market. The brand in the near future is likely to introduce the Lexus LM 350h - which has been showcased at the ongoing Auto Expo 2023 - in India. The Lexus LM is essentially a Toyota Vellfire but with Lexus-specific design cues and a much more luxuriously appointed interior.
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Though at the Auto Expo 2023, Lexus showcased the LM model in its non-hybrid, V6 350 guise, the one that will be launched in India will be the LM 300h variant with a petrol-hybrid powertrain. Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese automaker Toyota, will most likely position the LM 350h above the Toyota Vellfire.
Talking about the exterior, the new LM has a typical, upright and boxy MPV silhouette. It features Lexus’ signature spindle grille in chrome on the front, flanked by sleek LED headlamps with L-shaped DRLs. On the side, the LM gets a unique chrome strip around the window line which makes it different from the Vellfire, although the sliding doors and glass house are the same. At the back, there’s a distinctive LED tail lamp with generous use of chrome. Amid its distinctive Lexus design touches, it will take an extreme close-up look to be able to identify the Vellfire in it. Barring the soft plastic parts, the other body panels are identical on both MPVs.
More than the exterior, the inside of the LM makes it poles apart from Vellfire. Starting with a prominent partition between the front seats as well as between the second-row seats in the four-seater version. With reclining and ventilated captain’s seats at the back, which gets separated by a touchscreen control panel in the middle, it is indeed the most luxurious version of the LM. The panel has controls for the seats, the climate as well as the audio. Some other elements of the luxury vehicle are a 26-inch display, a refrigerator and an umbrella storage area. The 7-seater configuration of the LM targets family buyers and features an additional row of three seats at the back.
Powering the LM 350h is a 2.5-litre petrol engine which comes with a hybrid assist system (300h). The engine also has an 8-speed gearbox and a pair of electric motors, one for each axle. The 141 bhp front motor works in conjunction with the engine, while the 66 bhp rear motor solely powers the rear wheels when needed to form an electric four-wheel-drive system.
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