Lexus unveils seventh-generation ES premium midsize luxury sedan at Beijing Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on April 27, 2018

The seventh generation of the Lexus ES premium sedan (2019 model year) has just been unveiled at the 2018 Auto China (Beijing Motor Show), boasting a more dynamic performance, an all-new exterior design as well as a comfortable and luxurious interior.

Essentially, the 2019 Lexus ES owes its latest evolved character to the all-new Global Architecture-K (GA-K) platform. Compared to its predecessor, the all-new ES is longer by 2.6 inches, lower by 0.2 inches, and wider by 1.8 inches. Its wheelbase is longer by 2 inches while its tracks are wider both on the front (by 0.4 inches) and the rear (by 1.5 inches). The Global Architecture-K chassis is a rigid front-wheel drive chassis that makes use of various grades of high-tensile steel to save weight. It features enhancements like an all-new double wishbone suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat.

This new platform allowed the new ES to feature a dynamic yet fluid shape, as well as a characteristic silhouette highlighted by an aggressive downward slant. Thanks to its lower height and its fast roofline, the new ES offers a coupe-like profile, a lower and wind-cheating aerodynamics. Up front, the ES features a larger spindle with vertical bars on the ES 350 and the ES 350h, or a blacked out cross-hatch pattern on the ES 350 F SPORT.

On the chiseled rear end, the new ES features LED tail lamps wrapping around the quarter panels, with F SPORT models donning a rear spoiler, extra rear badging and a dark lower valance. The new ES 350 and ES 300h ride on wheels with sizes 17 inches and 18 inches, while the ES 350 F SPORT has standard 19-inch rims.

Customers could choose from a dozen color finishes for the new ES, including two new shades, Sunlight Green and Moonbeam Beige Metallic. The F SPORT models are offered with an exclusive Heat Blue exterior color.

Inside, the new ES marries a driver-centric cockpit with a roomy and comfortable front passenger area, as inspired by the Lexus Future Interior. Rear seat passengers, meanwhile, still offers high levels of comfort and spaciousness despite its sleeker exterior roofline. Its headroom was preserved by implementing a lower hip point and a carefully configured headliner. Legroom, meanwhile, remains generous thanks to the longer wheelbase of the seventh-generation model.

The color palette for the ES cabin has been expanded, with Black, Chateau and Topaz Brown, now joined by a new Rich Cream interior. The new ES F-SPORT model, meanwhile, benefits from a newly developed metallic cabin trim inspired by the making of a traditional Japanese sword. Called Hadori trim, this features fluctuating wave patterns for a three-dimensional look.

Serving as the core of the new ES 350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine – with an updated D4-S fuel injection – that delivers 300 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque – or 32 hp and 14 lb.-ft. more powerful than the previous generation V6 mill. This engine is mated to a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission with an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi-plate lock up clutch.

In some markets, the ES is offered as an ES 250, with an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder aluminum-intensive engine as its core. This engine comes with laser-clad intake valve seats and advanced Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT i) to offer higher levels of efficiency.

Meanwhile, the ES 300h hybrid midsize luxury sedan is powered by a new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System that makes use of an Atkinson cycle 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine; a lighter, more compact electric motor; and a self-charging hybrid system. This Hybrid Drive System provides up to 205 hp of total system output and a fuel economy rating of over 40 mpg (combined).

All versions of the new Lexus ES are loaded with the new Lexus Safety System + 2.0 as standard. LSS+ 2.0 boasts of new capabilities that allow for extra levels of safety, like daytime bicyclist detection as part of the Pre-Collision System (PCS), as well as two-stage adaptive high beam system (AHS).

Press Release

A NEW LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE AND SOPHISTICATION: THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEXUS ES

 Transformation of the sedan previously known for comfort and quietness into one equally
capable of delivering class-leading handling and performance

 Emotional design Reflects New Dynamic Capabilities

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 builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more
dynamic exterior design and even better driving performance.

The introduction of the new Lexus ES continues the expression of the brand’s design direction and commitment
towards crafting vehicles with heightened excitement, emotion and passion expanding that vision of the brand’s
future to a broader audience. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious, quieter and safer than ever
before while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, classleading
safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment.

THE NEW DIMENSION OF ES DESIGN

Built on the all-new Global Architecture – K (GA-K) platform, the new ES pushes the limits of design in the
midsize luxury sedan class. This ES is longer (+2.6 in), lower (-.2 in) and wider (+1.8 in.) than before with wheels
that have been pushed closer to the corners thanks to a two-inch longer wheelbase and wider tracks front (+.4
in) and rear (+1.5 in). It’s stance and proportions reflect its newfound performance capabilities and give the ES
the kind of eye-catching appearance that will make owners take a second look as they walk away.

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.”

To create a dynamic yet fluid shape, Kaijino’s team used the low hood enabled by the new ES platform to produce
a distinctive silhouette emphasized by an aggressive downward slant. Up front, the face of the ES is dramatically
different depending on the model. The standard ES 350 uses elegant vertical bars that radiate out from the
center.

In a break with ES models of the past, the seventh-generation design uses a fast roofline that emphasizes its lower
stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end is clean and sharply chiseled, with LED taillamps that wrap
around the quarter panels to provide a continuous styling line from any angle. 18-inch wheels will be available for
the ES 350.

A dozen colors make up the exterior paint palette including two new shades, one green and one beige that are
anything but typical. Ice Ecru Mica Metallic was designed to mimic light reflecting off fresh snow, while Sunlight
Green replicates the color of ocean water brightened by the sun.

THE FUTURE OF LEXUS INTERIORS

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 in the driver’s field of view. Additionally, adjustments were made to components such as
the steering wheel angle and position and brake pedal angle and location to provide the driver with a natural
driving position.

Front passengers, on the other hand, get a more open and spacious environment that promotes relaxation.

Rear seat passenger comfort has long been a hallmark of the ES and the seventh-generation model still prioritizes
rear package capability despite the sleeker exterior roofline. A lower hip point and a carefully configured
headliner preserve headroom while the longer wheelbase delivers uncharacteristically generous legroom.
In addition to the array of eye-catching paint colors available on the ES, there’s a new interior color combination
that reflects the “provocative elegance” theme. Along with Black, Chateau and Topaz Brown, the ES will offer a
new Rich Cream interior that blends cream upholstery with a brown headliner to give the cabin a modern, yet
warm look and feel.

A NEW ERA OF PERFORMANCE

The engineering team led by Yasuhiro Sakakibara had one clear goal when it came to the ES: Transform the
image of the ES. That meant turning a sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness into one that is equally
capable of delivering class-leading handling and power that you can feel and hear.

According to Yasuhiro Sakakibara, Chief Engineer, this ES was built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of
performance than any of its predecessors. “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 starting point was the newly developed Global Architecture-K chassis. It is an exceptionally rigid front-wheel
drive chassis, rivaling the Global Architecture-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC coupe and LS sedan
in terms of torsional stiffness. Various grades of high-tensile steel reduce weight versus previous platforms while
additional 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.

For the ES’s chassis engineering team, the goal was clear: To create a sense of comforting predictability coupled
with a feeling of quick response to every movement. Yoshiaki Ito, ES chief test driver describes the ES’s
heightened level and refined definition of comfort by saying: “We want every kind of driver to feel a sense of
complete control when they are behind the wheel of the ES. It’s a level of comfort that goes beyond merely
delivering a smooth ride.”

STANDARD V6 POWER AND A NEW 8-SPEED DIRECT-SHIFT AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that is designed to deliver commanding acceleration along with an
invigorating sound. With an update to D4-S fuel injection, the impressively smooth engine now develops 300
horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Both of those numbers are up significantly (+28 hp, +14 lb-ft)
compared to the previous generation V6.

In addition to the boost in power, the ES350 also benefits from a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic
transmission. This uses an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi-plate lock up clutch to more efficiently transfer
power to the front wheels, and has been tuned to deliver crisp, precisely timed shifts with quick pedal responses.
With a wider spread of ratios, the new eight speed is able to utilize high torque gears on the low end for quick
starts and tall gearing on the high end for optimum efficiency.

THE NEXT CHAPTER OF ES
From the nimble, consistent responsiveness that delivers that distinctive Lexus driving performance, to real
stitching on areas such as the soft padding of the instrument panel, where each stitch is embedded into materials
for a 3-D effect, and the sound insulation and absorption measures that were undertaken to deliver an
outstanding level of quietness and sound control, the new Lexus ES is a reminder that nothing is crafted like a
Lexus.

When it goes on sale later this year, the 2019 Lexus ES will usher in a new era for one of the brand’s most popular
models. Much like the flagship LS, the new ES sedan aims to engage a broader range of customers. It delivers
everything that traditional Lexus buyers expect along with elements that will draw in those who haven’t
considered the brand before. Bolder styling, more dynamic performance, unique cabin materials and the latest
safety technology add a chapter to the ES story that will recast the traditional image of the ES into one that is new
and unexpected.

ABOUT LEXUS
Lexus launched in 1989 with a flagship sedan and a guest experience that helped define the premium automotive
industry. In 1998, Lexus introduced the luxury crossover category with the launch of the Lexus RX. The luxury
hybrid sales leader, Lexus delivered the world’s first luxury hybrid and has since sold over 1 million hybrid
vehicles.*

A global luxury automotive brand with an unwavering commitment to bold, uncompromising design, exceptional
craftsmanship, and exhilarating performance, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of the next
generation of global luxury guests, and is currently available in over 90 countries worldwide.
Lexus associates/team members across the world are dedicated to crafting amazing experiences that are
uniquely Lexus, and that excite and change the world.

*(1,263,055 units as of December 2017)

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Source: Lexus

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