Apparently, the delay is caused by different export geography of the models. If the new LM will henceforth be sold not only in Asia, but also in Europe, then the fourth generation Alphard will remain mainly a minivan for the home market. That is why the overall length of the machine has grown only to 4995 mm (+50 mm), and the width (1850 mm) and height (1935) are completely the same. It’s all about tight Japanese parking lots, where the standard slot is designed for a car no longer than 5000 mm and no wider than 1850 mm.
Therefore, the distance between the axles (3000 mm), despite the transition to the new TNGA-K platform, the Japanese did not change. The suspension scheme has also remained the same (“MacPherson strut” in front, double wishbones in the rear), but now the base has amplitude-dependent shock absorbers.
Instead of a large “fin” on the B-pillar, there is now only a small ledge. The rear lights are connected by an LED jumper, regular wheels are 17-inch, but the Vellfire version has R19 wheels as standard. It can be distinguished not only by the wheels and nameplates, but also by the shape of the LED headlights, the grille and the larger cuts in the front bumper.
Alphard (left) and Vellfire
Toyota Vellfire is positioned by the Japanese as “Alphard for the driver”: such a minivan has additional struts in the front of the body and a reconfigured chassis, and instead of a bundle of a 2.5-liter “aspirated” (182 hp, 235 Nm) and a variator, “ turbo four” 2.4 (279 hp, 430 Nm) and an eight-speed “automatic”, and even the accelerator pedal is made shorter. Both the Alphard and the Vellfire are available in basic front-wheel drive or with a rear axle clutch.
But the hybrid power plant in minivans is one for two. More precisely, for three: the Lexus LM 350h is also equipped with it. A bunch of “atmospheric” 2.5 (190 hp, 236 Nm), a variator with a built-in traction electric motor and a modest battery with a capacity of only 5 Ah transmits peak 250 hp. With. on the front wheels, however, for a surcharge, E-Four all-wheel drive with an additional electric motor on the rear axle will be available. This will not affect the maximum power, and the range will even decrease slightly. Plug-in hybrids should appear in the range in the near future.
The salon can only be seven-seater, and conditionally: there are three headrests on the third row, but in fact these are two chairs that fold against the walls if you need to carry more luggage. In expensive versions of the Executive Lounge, the captain’s chairs are distinguished by a wider range of electrical adjustments and touch displays in the armrests. By default, heating and ventilation will be available, but the massage function is not mentioned in the equipment list. Quadruple minivans will remain the prerogative of Lexus.
The increased length of the body made the Alphard’s interior a little more spacious: the passengers of the second row had 5 mm of extra space in the knees, and the increase for those traveling in the “gallery” was already 10 mm.
Toyota has its own front panel, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen in the center and a digital instrument panel. There are no climate control buttons: you can adjust the temperature with the help of washers into which small displays are inscribed. Armchairs of the second row with built-in ottomans are able to dampen road vibrations thanks to special rubber spacers.
The panoramic roof is divided into two sections by a large console, on which air vents, an air conditioning control panel, two LED lamps and power window buttons are located. Electronically controlled blinds can close not only the roof, but also the side windows. The standard set of options, among other things, will include a full set of Toyota Safety Sense electronic assistants, a parking lot controlled from a smartphone, etc.
Separate care was taken of the disabled and small children. A 62-centimeter handrail is fixed on the central rack, additional retractable footboards are also provided, and on both sides. Alphard can be ordered with retractable seats that rotate 90° and, thanks to an additional step, make access to the cabin much easier.
Prices have already been announced. The atmospheric Alphard with front-wheel drive is available for 5.4 million yen (3.21 million rubles), and for the most expensive all-wheel drive hybrid in the Executive Lounge version, they ask for 8.72 million yen (5.18 million rubles). A somewhat simplified version of Welcab for people with disabilities costs 4.72–5.65 million yen (2.81–3.36 million rubles). The price list for Vellfire starts at 6.55 million yen (3.9 million rubles), and the hybrid Executive Lounge with the E-Four system will cost 8.92 million yen (5.3 million rubles).
Minivans will be assembled at Inabe and Toyota Auto Body factories. Toyota plans to sell 8.5 thousand new generation minivans per month, with 70% of this volume to be provided by Alphard.