CONTINUED EVOLUTION OF A KEY MODEL
Lexus held the world premiere of the new Lexus ES today. The ES is a key model in the Lexus line-up, having first appeared with the launch of the first-generation LS flagship sedan in 1989. The ES has been well received by many customers around the world for its high level of quietness, high-quality ride comfort, and spacious cabin. Cumulative sales of the ES since its initial debut so far total approximately 2.65 million units in more than 80 countries and regions. In South Africa, the Lexus ES has had its own fair share of success within the brand and has been a top seller too.
Another feat for Lexus ES is in its model grade offering, currently selling three model derivatives for SA customers with two hybrid grades – an entry (the XE) and top spec (SE) – ensuring that Lexus offers ES 300h customers a new standard of value, technology and elegance.
NEW LEXUS ES RESETS LUXURY BENCHMARKS
With the recent announcement, Lexus will reset the benchmarks for comfort, craftsmanship and technology in the luxury medium sedan segment when the new ES arrives in South Africa during the last quarter of 2021.
As the first major update for the highly successful seventh-generation Lexus ES, the luxury lifestyle brand has focused on leveraging the qualities of the highly acclaimed Lexus LS to create an even more luxurious experience.
This alignment with the flagship LS sedan also extends to the styling and technology of the new ES, which harmonises key design elements to complement its sleek coupe-style silhouette.
This includes the adoption of geometric square bezels within the headlamp cluster for a more structured and formal appearance, while incorporating new BladeScan adaptive high-beam technology (grade dependent).
Lexus' new luxury medium sedan can be further distinguished by a redesigned trademark-Lexus 'spindle' grille incorporating an L-shaped mesh pattern that emphasises lateral flow, as well as machined-surface 17- and 18-inch wheels for the respective grades that will launch for the local market.
To enhance its renowned ride comfort and deliver agile dynamics befitting the new Lexus Driving Signature, the rear suspension braces of the new Lexus ES have switched from a single-sheet structure to a stronger dual-sheet structure.
As well as continuing to balance the soothing reaction to bumps demanded by ES customers, improved torsional and lateral rigidity of the rear suspension enhances control and achieves more linear and neutral handling faithful to a driver's intentions.
To improve the interaction with the renowned Lexus hybrid-electric system and brake controllability, an improved mounting method for the internal bushing of the brake pedal link configuration joins revised control constants for the electronic systems.
Lexus International Chief Engineer Tetsuya Aoki said: "Our goal was to deepen the high quality of the ES and to add new value. In addition to further improving quietness and ride comfort, we pursued linearity in vehicle movement, in response to steering wheel operation, that is faithful to the driver's intentions."
More comfortable and engaging driving characteristics are complemented by new cabin design features, ornamentation options and imaginative technology that add sophistication to the sumptuous seating and expansive space inside the Lexus ES.
A high-resolution 12.3-inch widescreen display has been brought forward by more than 100mm compared with the current model, debuting touch-display functionality to increase usability options for the driver and front passenger.
Based on the Lexus human-centred approach, the optimum distance and angle has been achieved including tilting the screen by approximately five degrees to place even the outlying corners of the screen within easy reach.
Luxurious soft-touch dashboard and door materials, finely-detailed stitching and impeccable fit and finish will be further extended by the availability of new material ornamentation.
Befitting uncompromising Lexus craftsmanship standards, hairline ornamentation includes hairlines etched in one-at-a-time using a laser process to create a more delicate and modern ambiance.
A newly applied Hazel interior colour follows the existing availability in the flagship Lexus LS, while a newly developed Mauve blends brown and grey tones.
New interior colours complement two new exterior colours - 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 high-gloss grey.
The new Lexus ES follows the flagship LS with technology including the availability of BladeScan adaptive high-beam system (AHS), Lexus Connected Services and the latest Lexus Safety System.
The availability of BladeScan AHS improves illumination of the road at night – full spec details to be shared closer to launch period.
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 without impeding the visibility of the proceeding driver or of drivers approaching from the opposite direction.
For the improved Lexus Safety System, the performance of the single-lens camera and millimetre-wave radar has been improved to expand the response range of the Pre-Collision System (PCS).
PCS is now designed to detect daytime cyclists and pedestrians in low-light conditions and, at intersections, to detect oncoming vehicles before right turns - as well as 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 assists steering within the vehicle's lane as cued by the driver, and Low Speed Acceleration Control, which supports the prevention of collisions caused by pedal misapplication at low speed.
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 even throughout smaller-radius curves and in tunnels.
LOCAL UPDATE AND HYBRID SUCCESSES
In South Africa, the highly-successful seventh-generation ES is currently available in petrol ES 250 EX grade, an ES 300 hybrid EX grade (entry) ES 300 hybrid SE grade (top spec).
The currently available ES 300h utilises the renowned Lexus hybrid-electric system combining a 2.5-litre normally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor - producing 160kW of power and delivering combined-cycle fuel consumption from just 4.6 litres per 100 kilometres. The ES 300h achieves 0-100 sprint time of 8.9 seconds and top speed of 180 km/h.
Lexus Sales and Marketing Vice President, Glenn Crompton says: “Lexus is fully committed to lowering fuel emissions and will continue to expand its hybrid offering across the product line up where possible. The ES 300h line-up was a natural extension for a luxury sedan that has had a good market share for hybrid sales over the last year. Lexus continued to command market leadership in Electrifed technology and achieved a 29% market share in 2020 within the luxury segment.
“The greater number of Lexus customers purchasing this luxury sedan will continue to enjoy the luxury of choice, supplemented by a new standard of range-wide connectivity,” Crompton concludes.