After a series of fan dance teases, Lexus has finally pulled the wraps off its seventh-generation in a dual presentation at the Beijing Motor Show and near its old U.S. corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.
One of the first models ever introduced by the Japanese automaker, the ES has long been known for its comfort, reliability and value, though it has also helped Lexus earn a reputation for plain vanilla design and performance. The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is determined not to let that happen again.
“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan,” said Yasuo Kojino, the 2019 model’s chief designer. “For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”
Not surprisingly, that includes the familiar, and increasingly aggressive “spindle grille” that has adorned such new Lexus models as the LC sports coupe. It’s not quite as imposing on the 2019 ES, but still more distinctive than what was seen on the outgoing model. The grille is framed by slit-like headlamps that enhance the sedan’s sense of motion.
Overall, the 2019 Lexus ES is longer, lower and wider than the sixth-generation sedan, with a faster, more coupe-like roofline and clearly more windswept body. Like other recent Lexus updates and additions, the ES now boasts some distinctly angular details, including an accent line that rises from front to rear, flowing into the sedan’s integrated spoiler.
(For a first look at the new Lexus UX “Urban Explorer,” Click Here.)
The new Lexus ES now shares the same Global Architecture – K platform found underpinning most new Lexus models. The sedan, meanwhile will share many of the high-tech features found on the big Toyota Avalon, as well as some more luxurious touches distinct to the ES.
Under the hood, buyers will be given the option of two different powertrain packages:
- All ES 350 models will be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 making 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque – up 34 hp and 19 lb-ft from the old model. The engine will be paired with an eight-speed automatic;
- The ES 300h will feature a 2.5-liter inline-four paired with an electric motor drawing power from a nickel-metal hydride battery. The combined package will make 215 hp, and the preliminary estimate is 44 mpg in the EPA Combined cycle.
Meanwhile, Lexus will, for the first time, offer the ES with an F Sport package. The drivetrain remains the 302 hp V-6 but the car gets a new Adaptive Variable Suspension system similar to what’s offered on the Lexus LC 500 coupe. It can adjust all four dampers individually to enhance handling and traction. There’s a new Sport+ driver’s mode. And switching to Sport+ activates the new Engine Sound Enhancement system.
(Lexus, Toyota adding connected-car tech to new models starting in 2021. Click Here for more.)
The new ES will feature an array of high-tech systems, including Pre-Collision which is now updated to be able to detect bicyclists during the day. Apple CarPlay is standard on the seventh-generation ES, and drivers can also access both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistants. Alexa can even connect with the vehicle from home or office-enabled devices. There’s a new onboard WiFi system, and a 12.3-inch display with navi.
We’ll have even more info on the new 2019 Lexus ES after the dual Beijing/LA previews wrap up.
(Shake-up at Cadillac as brand chief is unexpectedly ousted. Click Here for the story.)