After six generations of unprecedented success in the midsize sedan category, the next-generation Lexus ES is forging a new, more ambitious path. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the seventh-generation ES, which enjoys its world debut today at the Beijing Auto Show, builds on the nameplate’s strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and even better driving performance.
The Lexus ES is built on the all-new Global Architecture – K (GA-K) platform. As such, the new Lexus ES is longer, lower, and wider than before, with its wheels pushed further into the car’s corners, thanks to its longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. It’s stance and proportions reflect its newfound performance capabilities.
Project Chief Designer, Yasuo Kajino, describes the look of the ES as “provocative elegance”. Kajino says: “The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan. For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”
The exterior design reflects Lexus’ ambitions to pivot the ES as a more dynamic and capable midsize luxury sedan. This is expressed through a low hood that creates a distinctive sillhouette, ephasized by an aggressive downward slant. Up front, the ES has different faces depending on the model. The standard ES uses vertical bars that radiate out of the center, while for the first time ever for the ES, a new F Sport variant features a mesh grille with an intricately designed pattern that mimics the trademark spindle grille’s shape. Compared to its predecessors, the seventh-generation ES uses a fastback-style roofline, emphasizing its lower stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end features a chiseled design, with LED tail lights that wrap around the quarter panels to provide a distinctive look from any angle.
When designing the look and feel of the ES’s interior, Kajino’s team started with the Lexus Future Interior concept which blends a driver-centric cockpit with a spacious and comfortable area for the front passenger. In the ES, the driver’s focus is kept on the road ahead by placing the center display screen, instrument panel and heads up display in a tight cluster within the driver’s field of view. Despite the sloping roofline, rear seat space remains a Lexus ES hallmark, thanks to careful engineering of the headliner, a longer wheelbase, and a lower hip point.
Under the direction of Yasuhiro Sakakibara, Lexus ES Chief Engineer, the team had one clear goal: Transform the image of the ES. This meant that the ES was built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of performance than any of its predecessors. Yasuhiro Sakakibara says: “We knew that this ES had to feel responsive and easy to drive, no matter what kind of road it was on and that can only be achieved with a solid foundation.”
The TNGA-K chassis already provides an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis, even rivaling the TNGA-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC coupe and LS sedan in terms of stiffness. Enhancements like an all-new double wishbone suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat gave the engineers the flexibility to tune the ES with a newfound level of precision. Providing a good base to expand and enhance from, the platform allowed us to realize low and wide proportions, resulting in a lower center of gravity and better than ever aerodynamics.
All Lexus ES 350s are powered by a 3.5 liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 355 Nm of torque. These are significantly boosted numbers compared to the previous generation V6, gaining 28 hp and 19 Nm, thanks to updates in the D4-S fuel injection system. This new engine benefits from a new 8-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission, which uses an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi-plate lock up clutch to more efficiently transfer
power to the front wheels.
The 2019 Lexus ES will arrive in showrooms later this year, bringing a new chapter to one of Lexus’ best selling models.