According to the latest reports from Car and Driver, it appears that Toyota is planning a new model for its Lexus luxury brand: ES300h. The news comes from a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filling made by the Japanese manufacturer earlier this month.
As expected the new car will be based on the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which means that it will be powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine delivering 147 hp and coupled with an electronically controlled planetary-gear continuously variable transmission.
The second part combines a high-torque 40-hp electric motor featuring a specially designed compact battery.
This means that the car will deliver a total output of 187 hp. For those who don’t know, the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid is certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) and produces over 70 percent less smog-forming emissions than the average new car.
The Camry Hybrid is rated by EPA at 31/35 (33 combined), so expect the new ES300h to get the same fuel consumption.
Just like the Camry Hybrid, the new Lexus ES300h will also get the “ECO” button, which limits energy consumption by the climate control system, and under certain conditions can help improve fuel economy.
Welcome the sixth and newest generation of the Lexus ES luxury sedan. The latest generation ES initially comes in the form of the 2013 ES350 and ES300h, both further raising the bar in the luxury sedan segment. Still featuring the hallmark Lexus spindle grille, the new Lexus ES now features a new design and improved handling. Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager, quipped that since launching the ES in 1989, the luxury sedan has been a segment benchmark in terms of reliability, quality, value and ride comfort. He added that with new models, Lexus is able to raise the bar once again.
The 2013 Lexus ES300h debuts the new Lexus Hybrid Drive, which boasts of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine that features an integrated hybrid electric motor/generator, electric water pump and electric power steering.
Needing no accessory belts, this low friction engine consumes less fuel and is now more reliable. In addition, this new engine employs a sophisticated power management system and high compression ratio (12.5:1) for higher overall efficiency. With a total system output of 200 hp, the new ES300h is expected to achieve an estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 39 mpg combined.
On the other hand, the core of the Lexus ES350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i. Designed to provide max output of 268 hp at 6,200 rpm and peak torque of 248 lb.-ft. at 4,700, this V6 engine is mated to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), thereby allowing for an improved performance, higher fuel efficiency and smoother shifts.
Also thanks to low friction materials, the ES350 is expected to earn an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. The new Lexus ES350 comes with a Drive Mode selector that allows drivers to pick from three modes: Normal, Eco and Sport. Normal mode delivers a great blend of performance and efficiency, while Eco mode helps the ES350 become more fuel efficient. On the other hand, Sport mode provides higher level of responsiveness for the powertrain and steering.
Drive Mode selector is also fitted on the ES300h, allowing the driver to choose any of the three aforementioned modes, with the addition of an EV mode. This mode employs only power sourced from hybrid battery pack, allowing the ES300h to run on pure electric power. This mode is also great for short distance drives at lower speeds. Interestingly, in the Sport mode, the instrument panel changes from the hybrid power monitor to a tachometer.