Lexus will build on the success of the seventh-generation ES luxury medium sedan by adding a new powertrain option when the new Lexus ES arrives locally in August.
The new Lexus ES will debut in Australia with a new ES 250 grade, complementing the increasing demand for the petrol-electric hybrid ES 300h and satisfying a higher number of luxury customers drawn to its class-leading style, space and refinement.
Compared with the preceding calendar period, the ES has improved local sales in full-year 2019 (+183.3%) and 2020 (+4.4%), as well as across the first quarter of 2021 (+23.7%). Lexus expects the ES 250 to add to continuing ES 300h demand.
A range expansion is also timed with the increased alignment of the new ES with the highly acclaimed Lexus LS in the areas of comfort, craftsmanship and technology.
This includes a focus on benchmark ride comfort and linear handling, new cabin ornamentation and trim, plus advanced safety features standard across the range.
The ES 250 features a new 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers a strong 152kW of power and achieves high torque efficiency with 243Nm.
An eight-speed automatic transmission provides a short first gear for direct and immediate response, plus a broad spread of taller ratios to provide the impeccable refinement at higher speeds demanded by Lexus ES customers.
The new transmission also gels with the steering and dynamics of the new ES.
A 60kg kerb weight reduction for the ES 250 (compared with the ES 300h) amplifies the benefits of the strong, wide-track GA-K platform that has been further strengthened and honed for the new ES with thicker rear suspension bracing.
New dual-sheet construction for the rear suspension bracing isolates road noise, enhances ride comfort and delivers more neutral cornering, allowing the ES to further its benchmark comfort and quietness, and deliver greater driver engagement.
The result for the new Lexus ES is a luxury medium sedan that is spacious and refined, yet responsive and rewarding – with the ES 250 and ES 300h now offering luxury customers subtle shifts in character depending on their personal preferences.
The petrol-electric ES 300h continues with an advanced 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor offering a combined 160kW of power – linked to a highly efficient electronic continuously-variable transmission (eCVT) for maximum smoothness and reduced emissions.
Lexus Australia Chief Executive Scott Thompson said the expansion of the ES line-up is a natural response as the luxury medium sedan continues in its third year of sales growth.
“With its stylish coupe-style silhouette, focus on craftsmanship and impeccable refinement, the seventh-generation Lexus ES has been extremely well received by luxury customers,” Mr Thompson said.
“The lighter new ES 250 maximises the agility borne from the Lexus Driving Signature while complementing the ES 300h with its focus on petrol-electric performance and incredible efficiency.”
The ES 250 and ES 300h will be available in Luxury, Luxury with Enhancement Pack, F Sport and F Sport with Enhancement Pack grades, while the ES 300h exclusively adds a Sports Luxury flagship grade.
New highlights across the Lexus ES line-up include a high-resolution 12.3-inch widescreen display that has been brought forward by more than 100mm, debuting touch-display functionality to increase usability options for the operator.
Lexus Connected Services debuts for the first time as standard on ES, including SOS call1, automated collision notification2 and stolen vehicle tracking3.
Lexus Connected Services employs a Data Control Module (DCM) that is able to automatically generate an SOS emergency call to a 24/7 Lexus Emergency Call Centre and relay the location of the vehicle in the event of a collision that requires intervention, or if an airbag deploys.
The driver can also request emergency assistance via an SOS button on the overhead console and if the vehicle is reported stolen3, Lexus Connected Services can assist authorities to help track the vehicle’s location via the Stolen Vehicle Tracking (SVT) service.
Lexus Connected Services joins the improved Lexus Safety System+4, with the performance of the single-lens camera and millimetre-wave radar improved to expand the response range of the Pre-Collision System (PCS).
PCS is now designed to detect oncoming vehicles before right turns at intersections.
PCS can also detect cyclists in daytime conditions and pedestrians in daytime or low-light conditions – including pedestrians crossing the street from the direction toward which the vehicle was traveling before it started to make a right or left turn.
Newly adopted functions also include Emergency Steering Assist, which supports the driver in an emergency situation where the driver initiates an evasive steering manoeuvre – providing additional steering torque to enhance the vehicle stability and prevent lane departure.
Controllability has also improved for the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and the lane-recognition functions of Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), which is an advanced driving support function that supports steering to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane.
When LTA is activated, AI technologies are applied to camera-actuated, white-line recognition for advanced deceleration of the vehicle in line with the size of the curve.
Keeping lateral G-forces constant while driving through curves contributes to stable and comfortable driving and makes driving assistance more continuous.
The ES 300h F Sport also adopts a new actuator for a model-exclusive adaptive variable suspension (AVS), with the flow path of the hydraulic control solenoid’s oil flow control valve expanded for a wider variable range of damping force.
Both the ES F Sport and ES Sports Luxury debut BladeScan adaptive high-beam, which improves illumination of the road at night.
Compared with existing technology that uses LEDs directed at the road and switch on and off as individual chips that can shade fixed portions of the road, BladeScan AHS directs the LEDs back towards a spinning blade mirror – which synchronise to provide a more delicate shielding of light than in the case of conventional AHS.
BladeScan AHS also broadens the range of high beam illumination, enabling the driver to recognise pedestrians and road signs further ahead, without impeding the visibility of the proceeding driver or of drivers approaching from the opposite direction.
Two new exterior colours are available with the new ES – Sonic Iridium, a silver that takes advantage of strong shadows to further accentuate the shape of the vehicle, and Sonic Chrome, which exhibits a metallic quality in grey.
These complement a newly applied Hazel interior colour that follows the existing availability in the flagship Lexus LS and is available on ES Luxury, ES Luxury with Enhancement Pack and ES Sports Luxury grades.
A newly developed Mauve blends brown and grey tones and is available on ES 300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack and ES 300h Sports Luxury grades.
The ES Sports Luxury takes famous Lexus Takumi craftsmanship a step further with new Mauve trim available in concert with new Walnut ornamentation in brown or Sumi black. Black trim is also available with a rich, contrast Bamboo option.
F Sport grades are further distinguished by the new addition of F Sport White trim, adding to the existing F Sport Black and Flare Red trim.
Pricing and final specifications for the new Lexus ES will be confirmed ahead of its arrival in August, 2021.