Lexus is ready to tackel the US premium competition with the introduction of the new generation ES, a car in its seventh generation. The 2019 Lexus ES builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT.
A key element of the redesigned ES is the all-new Global Architecture–K (GA-K) platform. The result is an ES sedan that is longer (+2.6 in), lower (-0.2 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 (+0.4 in) and rear (+1.5 in).
The newly introduced F SPORT model sets out in a different direction, with a grille that borrows directly from the LS flagship. In place of the standard model’s vertical bars, the F SPORT has a mesh pattern composed of interlocking “L”s with a jet black finish and dark trim. Cut outs at each corner of the front fascia also sport the black finish mesh, but have even wider openings than the standard model to further emphasize the firmly anchored stance.
The standard 17-inch wheel is a split five-spoke design with dark silver accents and a machined finish. A similar color scheme is used for the larger 18-inch 10-spoke wheel available with the Premium and Luxury packages. An additional 18-inch split five-spoke wheel design is available with the Luxury and Ultra Luxury packages that features a multi- spoke design with a high-gloss finish. The F SPORT model gets unique 19-inch wheels that are similar to those used on the LC and LS. The dual-spoke design is highlighted by a dark premium graphite coating that is also unique to the F SPORT.
The rear suspension design utilizes a trailing arm, multilink setup that also benefits from the responsiveness of the new Dynamic Control shocks. Higher placement of the trailing arm mounting point and a larger bushing size results in better ability to help dampen road irregularities. Wider spacing of the stabilizer bushing mounts also contributes to overall roll reduction.
All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (2GR-FKS) that is designed to deliver effortless acceleration along with impressive efficiency. The latest V6 now features the D-4S fuel injection system which uses high-pressure injectors to deliver fuel directly into the combustion chamber along with a low-pressure system that delivers fuel to the intake ports. Together with the addition of Variable Valve Timing- intelligence Wide (VVTi-W) for the intake valves, the engine is capable of operating on either the traditional Otto cycle during sporty driving or the more efficient Atkinson cycle when power demand is low.
To complement the power of the updated V6, an all-new 8-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission is used on all ES 350s. The newly developed transmission uses an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi- plate lock up clutch to maintain a direct connection in almost all driving situations.
A new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System is used in the ES 300h. An all-new 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine (A25A-FXS) running on the Atkinson cycle is coupled with a smaller, more power dense electric motor and an all-new hybrid transaxle. The preliminary internal results are a combined 215 total system horsepower and a manufacturer estimated 44 combined mpg.
The new aluminum-intensive gas engine delivers exceptional efficiency by combining a high-speed combustion design with several variable systems designed to conserve energy. The result is an engine that has a nearly identical displacement to its predecessor, yet delivers approximately 20 additional horsepower and 12 additional pound feet of torque.
The nickel-metal hydride battery that powers the electric motor has been relocated from the trunk to underneath the back seat. This was made possible by a 4.7-inch reduction in the height of the battery and the adoption of a more compact cooling system. Moving the battery under the seat not only frees up trunk space, it also improves the front-to-rear weight distribution of the ES for better handling.
The new ES is the first Lexus product to offer Apple CarPlay phone functionality. ES models with the optional 12.3-inch navigation display will offer CarPlay starting from launch, while the standard Lexus Multimedia display system will add CarPlay functionality starting with October production.