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LAST FRIDAY, Lexus Philippines held an online launch for the new Lexus ES, which comes in two trims: the Lexus ES 350 Premier (P4.728 million) and Lexus ES 300h (P3.758 million).
The ES (which stands for “Executive Sedan”) is a midsizer which was introduced in 1989. The seventh generation, to which the updated model belongs, first rolled out in 2018. In a release, Lexus Philippines said that the nameplate is “renowned for its quiet, smooth performance and high levels of cabin comfort and spaciousness. The latest iteration of the ES focuses on strengthening these qualities, refreshing the car’s styling, improving ride and responsiveness, and introducing new, technology-led equipment features.”
A total of 2.65 million Lexus ES units have been sold worldwide since its debut, and is said to be one of the brand’s core models — accounting for one-fourth of its vehicle sales in 2020.
Inside, the ES boasts a driver-centric cockpit along with spacious and comfortable areas for the passengers. Lexus labels this concept “Seat in Control,” a simple idea that says, “from the moment you get in, all the controls you need are within reach and all the information you want is in plain view.” Lexus adopts new cabin colors in the ES.
The new ES gets “human-centered” updates to the Lexus Multimedia System, plus a streamlined instrument panel design for seamless cabin integration. The ES also continues the Lexus Driving Signature philosophy with additional performance updates, including an enhanced rear suspension member brace further improving torsional rigidity, handling stability, and ride comfort. The vehicle’s brake system has also received improvements — with the pedal shape enlarged to improve foot stability and confidence when it is depressed. On ES gas models, the vacuum brake system master cylinder and booster have been optimized to provide a more linear brake pedal feeling and response. The regenerative and hydraulic brake control characteristics of the Electronically Controlled Brake System (ECB) on ES hybrid models have also been optimized to improve pedal feeling.
Up front, the ES displays a new interpretation of the Spindle Grille, flanked by newly designed headlamps.
The Lexus ES 350 Premier is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that offers 302ps and 356Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed Direct-Shift Automatic transmission. The performance is realized through 235/45 R18 tires.
The variant receives rain-sensing wipers; automatic trunk operation with a kick sensor; semi-aniline leather seats, driver and front passenger 10-way power seats, and front-seat ventilation systems.
Meanwhile, a 12.3-inch Electro Multi Vision Touch Display boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Smartphone Linking, and Miracast. A high-end 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system provides a voice to the entertainment system. Wireless charging comes standard.
Lexus said that the ES 350 Premier is equipped with the brand’s most advanced safety technology. “The Lexus Safety System (LSS) addresses the three most common accident types: frontal collisions, lane departures, and nighttime accidents. Dynamic radar cruise control; adaptive high beams; lane-tracing assist with lane-departure alert; blind-spot monitor (BSM); and rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA) work in conjunction with an entire suite of standard luxury safety features,” it reported.
The Lexus ES 300h boasts a new-generation hybrid electric system. A 2.5-liter inline-four engine is equipped with laser-clad intake valve seats, which permit increased airflow into the cylinder and an optimized intake port shape that increases the tumble-flow turbulence of incoming air and fuel for high-speed combustion. Lexus said the new engine achieves leading thermal efficiency, combining robust power delivery with excellent response to deliver superb fuel efficiency. The system outputs 178ps and 221Nm, and the ES 300h receives 215/55 R17 tires.
The Japan-headquartered premium car maker said that the ES hybrid electric system achieves excellent fuel efficiency and powerful acceleration owing to a new hybrid transaxle with improved efficient internal power flow and a higher-efficiency power control unit. A new, more compact hybrid battery is located beneath the rear seats, contributing to ideal weight balance and low center of gravity, while assuring cargo space. The ES 300h lays claim to a total system output of 218ps.
The interior features synthetic leather; eight-way power adjustment for driver and front passenger; HEV indicator; eight-inch touch display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Smartphone Linking and Miracast; and a 10-speaker premium sound system. On the safety front, ABS, EBD, and traction control come standard alongside a host of safety features expected in a Lexus luxury sedan.