Japanese luxury brand Lexus released a teaser pic of the next new offering coming for 2022: the ES sedan.
The company proclaimed Tuesday the “quintessential luxury sedan gets a refresh. Join us on April 18 for the unveiling of the new 2022 Lexus ES.” The reveal will take place at the Shanghai Motor Show, and the ES is just the latest vehicle in the portfolio to get either an update or a complete makeover — or come completely from scratch.
The most recent offering is the latter, the LF-Z Concept. The batter-electric concept was the beginning of an onslaught of nearly two dozen new models expected from Toyota’s luxury unit by the middle of this decade.
ES gets updated
The LF-Z concept offered a hint of what’s coming, both from a design perspective as well as the new technologies the luxury brand will bring to market. And a look at the teaser pic for the new ES shows the company is already following the EV’s lead.
The headlight on the new ES is more angled and little thinner than its predecessor, mirroring the look of the LF-Z. There is really little more to glean from the pic. However, Lexus has been looking to meet the demand by Toyota President Akio Toyoda for more exciting vehicles.
The recent IS 500 F Sport and the debut of the new F Sport Performance models show the brand is serious about injecting some visual as well as performance excitement into its next round of vehicles. The big question is how much of the new ES, which has been a mainstay of the brand in terms of sales, will be an exterior update — or will it be bigger?
The 2021 model can be had with a gas-powered engine or a hybrid. There are two gas powerplants: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder putting out 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and a 3.5-liter DOHC VVT aluminum V-6 putting out 302 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.
The hybrid couples the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with a smaller electric motor with the combination netting 215 hp (176 from the gas engine and 39 hp from the battery) and 163 lb-ft of torque. However, the LF-Z concept showed off the new Lexus Driving Signature, anchored by its Direct4 system.
The Direct4 system marries two motors — one on each axle — with a four-wheel braking system that, it implies, allows for aggressive torque vectoring to enhance performance driving.
“Lexus has been able to draw on its unmatched experience in electrified vehicle technologies,” the carmaker said in December. “This expertise supports the development of the Lexus Driving Signature, a unique standard
that will define the dynamic performance of Lexus’s next generation vehicles.
“The Lexus Driving Signature aims to provide drivers with a natural driving feel, a sense of unity with their vehicle, and the genuine comfort that comes from confidence in a thoughtfully designed vehicle with the right balance of excitement and predictability.”
The company did not say when Direct4 will go into production. But, considering how quickly the
automotive industry is migrating to battery power, it’s hard to imagine we’ll have to wait all that much longer.
The betting is that this could show up as a 2022 production model. At the latest, it could appear early next year as a 2023. One thought is that the LF-Z is more than a concept, but could the brand’s best-selling sedan in the U.S. be the first instead? Especially since the brand maintains the LF-Z is just a concept.
The company has said several times now all models will be offered with some form of electrified option by 2025. And he said Lexus planners expect that those battery-based models will, by mid-decade, generate the majority of the marque’s global sales. We’ll find out April 18 is the ES kicks off that shift.