A Streetcar Named Desire
Say hello to the refreshed Lexus ES
As the best-selling sedan model in Lexus’ impressive stable, the ES has come to define the very essence of the attainable luxury sedan. It’s evident that this trend will continue as Lexus unveiled the exciting new 2016 ES at the Shanghai International Motor Show. The 2016 ES features an exciting, sportier attitude, highlighted by elegant yet progressive exterior styling, an enhanced luxurious interior and the new safety system, Lexus Safety System+.
“Our development concept was ‘Take the ES to the next level of elegance and progressive luxury,’” said Toshio Asahi, ES Chief Engineer. “The Lexus ES is renowned for its innovative exterior and interior design. We wanted to build on that and make it more elegant, and tailor the car with the latest technology Lexus has to offer. We’re confident that the new Lexus ES will be a leader in its class and attract a lot of attention.”
The new-look Lexus ES with selected additional* features will make its South African debut during the latter half of 2015.
An Elegant, Dynamic New Look
For 2016, Lexus designers have cast a daring new form with the refreshed ES. A commanding front fascia that features Lexus’s trademark spindle grille, framed in combination with accentuated brilliant satin chrome, gives this new ES a new sense of luxury and instantly distinguishes it from the crowd. Accompanying the grille is a pair of newly designed headlights, now equipped with LED projector technology, while iconic “L”-shaped arrowhead Daytime Running Lights (DRL) extend outside the headlight element for a distinctive look that links it with other Lexus models. Also, redesigned fog lamps areas have been relocated to the outer lower corners of the front fascia and amplify the vehicle’s wide stance.
A re-sculpted front fascia connects to the hood adding the sensation of motion even when the car is standing still. The sleek shape continues with the ES’ graceful roofline that flows effortlessly to the rear, where an improved, modern taillight design evokes the “L”-shaped theme furnishing an instantly recognizable nighttime glow. Spanning the rear is a re-stylized chrome license plate garnish that flows visually into the clear elements of the lamps to communicate the vehicle’s on-road stability. Adding a considerable amount of flair to the vehicle’s already sporty attitude are newly sculpted chrome-tipped rectangular exhaust ports.
To complement the impactful new form, two 17-inch wheels with directional spoke patterns have been developed. A branching dark grey metallic, multi-plane machined 20-spoke wheel is optional for non-hybrids, while hybrids are distinguished with a 10-spoke design with machine finish over medium grey.
New exterior colours join the ES palette: Amber, Nightfall Mica, Caviar, and Eminent White Pearl. Like the six existing choices, each features Lexus’ innovative cutting-edge paint technology designed to allow the paint’s clear coat to heal itself even from light damage. Each of the 10 colours were carefully selected to reflect the ES’ dynamic surface and is brought to life by the renowned, multi-stage paint process that gives Lexus models their deep, jewel-like lustre.
A Luxuriously Updated Cabin with New Levels of Sophistication
When it comes to luxury and refinement, Lexus has no equal. Engineered to provide driving confidence and the ultimate in comfort, the ES surrounds its occupants with a luxurious, contemporary cabin. From the sweeping dashboard reminiscent of modern architecture to highly intuitive ergonomics mated with the finest materials and surfaces, the ES cultivates a feeling of sheer quality with every touch.
The 2016 model takes luxury to the extreme with a collection of new interior colour combinations, including exquisite multi-colour themes that exemplify elegance.
Furthermore, an embossed pattern has been added to the comfortable-yet-supportive seats. Additional trim enhancements to cabin-facing door surfaces and the centre console unite the interior in upscale feel and design cohesion. Color-matched upholstery appears along the centre console as well, coupled with a new leather boot-enclosed gear selector.
A new, sporty steering wheel provides better driving engagement. A larger 4.2-inchThin Film Transistor (TFT) color multi-information display conveniently places vital vehicle and route information as well as multimedia information front and centre. To further enhance Remote Touch Interface (RTI) control, the 2016 ES adds “Enter” buttons on either side of the interface controller.
Refinement Taken to a New Level
Since its inception, Lexus has offered quiet and smooth driving vehicles. The 2016 ES upholds that tradition with a host of improvements to provide the driver with an exciting experience.
For the new 2016 ES, Lexus engineers applied structural reinforcements to foster stiffness in the vehicle’s unibody construction. Adapted from the Lexus IS sports sedan, this form of chassis tuning arms the ES with enhanced ride quality and handling. Moreover, this ES adds a sound-reducing layer behind the dashboard to better isolate engine noise from the cabin.
New for 2016 in specific markets is a 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine. Engineered to meet China’s fuel economy regulations, the D4 engine will be offered in China, Russia and Taiwan. In South Africa, the luxury sedan will continue with its exceptionally smooth 2.5-liter L4 engine as well as a petrol-electric hybrid powerplant badged as the 300h.
On the Cutting Edge of Safety—-Lexus Safety System +
The ES offers Lexus Safety System +, which combines key innovative safety technologies into a single, networked package. Among them are the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which can detect vehicles and pedestrians, in some circumstances, by a combination of millimeter-wave radar and front-facing camera. It dispatches a warning as Brake Assist (BA) and emergency braking are activated. The Lane Departure Alert (LDA) employs a camera to keep track of visible lane marking lines on the road. If the vehicle begins to unintentionally deviate from the lane, the LDA system will notify the driver with an audio-visual alert and vibration to the steering wheel. The Automatic High Beam (AHB) senses headlights from oncoming traffic and the taillight of the car in front, automatically adjusting hi-beam and low-beam illumination to help ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving. The Radar Cruise Control uses millimeter-wave radar to detect the speed of the vehicle ahead in order to adjust the cruise control speed setting accordingly, helping to maintain a preset distance. This system also uses a combination of millimeter-wave radar and camera to detect a lane change by the vehicle in front for smooth acceleration and deceleration control.
“With improved performance, an expanded engine lineup and a quieter and thoroughly luxurious interior wrapped in a freshened chiseled body, the new ES builds efficiently on what has made it one of the most popular luxury sedans in the world, and we are confident that this latest version of the ES will build upon its past successes,” said Asahi.
*Full South African spec will be disclosed closer to the launch.