The wraps are off for yet another earlier-teased vehicle. Lexus, at the Beijing Autoshow 2018, has unveiled the first details of the vehicle that bore the company’s new spindle design – the all-new Lexus ES.
The seventh-generation Lexus ES continues to be front-wheel drive and also share many underpinnings with Toyota’s new flagship sedan in the USA, the Toyota Avalon. Built on the all-new TNGA K-platform (also in the new Avalon and new Camry), the new Lexus ES is significantly longer (+66mm) and wider (+45mm) compared to the sixth generation.
The larger body size allows for a more dynamic exterior design that emphasizes a sloping roofline and even better driving performance through the sophisticated multi-link rear suspension.
Up front, vertical bars are now a prominent feature the new spindle grille design. In higher specification variants, the front head lamps uses 24 individual LEDs to provide an adaptive lighting solution that both illuminates the front better while not glaring the oncoming traffic.
The LED tail lamps meanwhile extend deeper into the quarter panels to provide a continuous styling line when viewed from any angle. Wheel sizes range from 17-inch to 19-inch.
Inside, more space has been created through a longer wheelbase (+50mm). The instrument panel meanwhile is the latest iteration of Lexus Future Interior concept, which blends a driver-centric cockpit with a spacious and comfortable front passenger area. As featured in previous models, the meter hood has two rotary switches at the sides, with a central digital display housed beneath the hood.
A free-standing infotainment display (available in 12.3-inch or 8-inch) with Apple CarPlay connectivity sits atop the air conditioning vents, with Shimamoku wood trim placed alongside it.
Occupants at the rear enjoy improved comfort levels through the lower hip point as well as uncompromised head room with a carefully configured headliner.
Complementing the new TNGA K-platform is a range of new engines. The new ES will be available with three engine choices - a V6, an in-line four and a self-charging hybrid. The range-topping ES 350 will feature the company’s signature 3.5-litre V6 that develops 300 hp and 354 Nm of torque. The V6 engine is also mated to a new compact 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
While no performance details were given, the new 2.5-litre Dynamic Force Engine in-line four that delivers up to 206 hp and 251 Nm of torque should be found under the bonnet of the ES 250. This is a significant jump in output versus the old 2AR-FE engine found in the outgoing generation, which only delivered 181 hp and 235 Nm.
The self-charging hybrid in the ES 300h meanwhile offers the latest hybrid powertrain that delivers a combined system output of 205 hp. The electric motors deliver up to 120 hp of power.
The team lead by Chief Engineer Yasuhiro Sakakibara had one clear goal: transform the image of the ES into one that is capable of delivering responsive handling and power.
The high rigidity TNGA K-platform is manufactured with various strength-adding features such as multi-grade high tensile steel and a rear-mounted V-brace to deliver a torsional rigidity that is almost similar to the chassis in the LC Coupe and LS sedan.
The new Lexus ES will also introduce an F Sport model for the first time in the ES line-up. F Sport exterior upgrades includes the spindle grille design, rear spoiler, rear bumper with diffuser look and gorgeous 19-inch wheels. Adaptive Variable Suspension that automatically adjust to 650 levels of damping force is also exclusively paired with the F Sport model. The interior also features a trim inspired by Japanese swordmaking technique as well as sports-type front seats.
Safety equipment wise, the new Lexus ES will be available with the new Lexus Safety System + 2.0. Among the new features in this advanced driving assistance system is the sensor’s ability to detect cyclists during daytime and provide intervention should there be a condition.
Being an important product to both the company and dealers worldwide, the new Lexus ES will be available on sale in USA this September and other markets to follow later.