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2013 Lexus ES Spotted in China!

2013 Lexus ES 250

The next-generation 2013 Lexus ES has been revealed by way of Chinese forum XCar — let’s start off with the full photo gallery:

Besides its larger size, the very first thing I notice about the new ES is the coupe-like roofline that glides down into the trunk:

2013 Lexus ES Roofline

More than anything, this line defines the car to me — it’s a bold statement by Lexus to change their best-selling sedan in such a strong manner, especially when the style and size bring to mind the flagship LS.

As for the rest of the exterior design, I’m not sold on the hoodline and the way it cuts across the front-end, but the side profile makes it all worth it:

2013 Lexus ES Side Profile

And then there’s the interior, which is such a quantum leap over the existing model that only a side-by-side comparison will do:

2013 Lexus ES Interior Comparison

As with the new GS, this ES interior could sell the car on its own — there’s simply no way to overstate the improvement compared to the current model and its teardrop center console.

Now, I try not to get too excited or too disappointed by leaked cameraphone photos, but the new ES looks like a homerun to me. What do you think?

[Source: XCar & Autohome] (Thanks to everyone that sent this in!)

Comments
R
  • R
    R. Lawrence
  • February 21, 2012
When I first saw this image . . . dare I say it . . . Hyundai flashed through my mind . . . I must admit . . . I was expecting more . . . Here's my '08 compared to the 2013 . . .  what do you think?
    B
    The subtle changes help the 2013 a lot. People like the Sonatas styling, so if you (wrongly) think of Sonata, accept that as a more stylish upgrade, and move on..... BD
    R
    • R
      R. Lawrence
    • February 21, 2012
    Actually my first thought was of the current LS.  To be more specific . . . I think it was the side profile of the taillight that reminded me of the Hyundai . . . or even Kia Optima (?)  Anyway, I am trying to like the new spindle grill.  My wife says it reminds her of Darth Vader's helmet.  Hmmm . . .
    T
    • T
      Travis
    • February 22, 2012
    Dont ever put Sonata and a Lexus in the same sentance... or even in the same idea at that. Anyone anywhere that says any Lexus looks like a hyundai... tell them stop dreaming. Being like Toyota/Lexus is Hyundai wet dream.
    • Anonymous
    • February 24, 2012
    Both have 4 wheels.  And windows too.
    R
    • R
      RAL
    • March 3, 2012
    You are so observant!
    R
    • R
      Rashad35
    • March 25, 2012
    Not even close, your 08 is light years ahead in style, looks and class...
P
  • P
    Pete
  • February 21, 2012
the New ES isnt bad really.  i think in person it will have much more charm
E
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    emptystreets130
  • February 21, 2012
Regardless of who approved the design, this will still eat into the GS sales. I love the GS since the 1st gen up to the 4th gen, but no matter what, the ES will just eclipse the GS in sales. I think it's because the ES is bigger (more interior space), has the same design langauge with the new GS, and has about the same amount or more features.
    B
    Never has before.  This targets a very different market This is $10k less, and has no sporting pretensions, giving up about 20HP to the GS (I'm expecting a bump to 285HP). This is a straight luxury car. GS courts sports sedan drivers, more aggressive drivers. BD
    E
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      emptystreets130
    • February 22, 2012
    If you look at the sales charts listed on this site, the ES sells at least 2x more than the GS.
    E
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      emptystreets130
    • February 22, 2012
    to add on, I do know that they are target at a different market, but still, how many Lexus driver's want a sporty, aggressive sedan. I for one wants one, but the person next to me probably wants a soft comforable ride. I've seen some customer's here cross shopping between the ES and GS and even cross shopped an IS and ES. All I did was shake my head and walked away.
    B
    ES sells more because it cost significantly less.  They aren't going for the same buyer.  Never have. Most $35k cars outsell $50k cars by a significant amount, because of the price GS is also RWD.  Big difference from how a FWD will drive too. BD
    E
    • E
      emptystreets130
    • February 22, 2012
    As far as being RWD or FWD doesn't really matter to an average consumer who is just shopping for a cheap luxury car. I'm not saying that the ES is cheap, but it has been proven by BMW that most people do not know that their 1 series is RWD. I know a car enthusiast like you and me would pick a RWD sport sedan over a FWD anyday. They drive better, handles so much better and just fun to drive (depending on how it's tuned.)
    М
    just remember that the GS sales will be much more high in  EUROPE LEXUS is not just about USA JAPAN & EUROPE do not like the FWD big models i think ES just for NA & CHINA just to compete with BUICK nothing more but the core World Wide mid size luxury will go to the GS
    E
    • E
      emptystreets130
    • February 22, 2012
    That's because the ES was discontinued in that market and in Australia and never existed with the launch of Lexus in Japan
    М
    good catch the ES is not found in it's own mother market
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  • D
    DuDE
  • February 21, 2012
not satisfied..... reminds me of the Chinese car Top gear reviewed a few weeks back.. http://www.google.co.in/imgres?imgurl=http://www.thetycho.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/guangzhou-auto-trumpchi-china-car-1-458x355.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.carnewschina.com/2010/08/21/guangzhou-auto-trumpchi-naked/&h=355&w=458&sz=38&tbnid=66E_OgtJx_UZJM:&tbnh=102&tbnw=131&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dtrumpchi%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=trumpchi&docid=CRSTNW75s01GlM&sa=X&ei=-HBET7uBApGIrAew1dGcDw&ved=0CEoQ9QEwBQ&dur=848 
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Eh, I don't see the resemblance.
    D
    • D
      DuDE
    • February 23, 2012
    not that i see the exact same car, but it reminds me of it.
T
I really hope that knob is for an adjustable suspension to firm it up for some spirited driving. What do u think?
    T
    • T
      Travis
    • February 22, 2012
    Why would u want spirited driving in a ES ? a bit more responsive yes but it doesnt need it its meant to be smooth.
    T
    Because the ES as-is is simply too cushy for some people. It's nice to have an option u know. And yes, I know there is a GS model. I work for Lexus... Not everyone has or wants to spend the extra 10k. Damn.
    T
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      Travis
    • February 22, 2012
    Thats like buying a royce royce phantom and crying about it being too comfy and soft... or on the oppsite end buying a Enzo and complaning about it being too stiff.. you cant have ya cake and eat it too you got to kno what you getting.      The ES is a cushy and comfort car and that alone sales ALOT more then the idea of a performance car that for one no one ever does hard corning or public streets and firm suspention mean feeling the pot holes in your rear end. This doesnt appeal to alot of people. Theres two kinds of people.. people who want an intense ride and those that want a comfy one. Theres nothing wrong with either and the ES tailors to the comfy side.
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Regardless, let's not get too worked up about this until we know more facts.
    М
    if you want spirited driving you simply go to GS
    T
    I am speaking for the sales that were lost because the younger luxury crowd tend to prefer a tad firmer ride. Thanks for your opinion.
    T
    • T
      Travis
    • February 22, 2012
    Well that younger crowd has the GS and IS line to pick from if they want a tid firmer ride. Thats like buying a royce royce phantom and crying about it being too comfy and soft... or on the oppsite end buying a Enzo and complaning about it being to stiff.. you cant have ya cake and eat it too you got to kno what you getting.
    М
    that's exactly my point i think LEXUS will make 2 separate lineups inside it one for comfort Luxury which the ES will be it's flagship and may be we see a next new generation HS and other model the other lineup is the core internationally lineup for the spirited driving with the LS as it's flagship passing by SC then GS and then IS till the CT with LFA in it's upper price range
    T
    You are being too one track minded. Go drive the new GS and tell me you don't want the ability to change up the driving dynamics a lil on the ES. Lexus did a great job with with the GS ride and it looks like the option could be available on the ES based on the interior shot. We can agree to disagree....
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    I have a feeling the ES Drive Mode Select Knob will focus mostly on the throttle curve, like the CT.  An ES with a variable suspension is an interesting idea, but I doubt there's a big enough market to justify the expense.
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    Hillyb
  • February 22, 2012
The interior is awesome
T
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    Travis
  • February 22, 2012
I think its a SUBSTANCIAL upgrade to the current model... in almost everyway looks much more upscale and rich. The current ES is a wonderful smooth operating car and is built very nice theres not a thing wrong with it but this new model looks to be leaps better.... cant wait to see whats new with it. By far the most substancial car in its class. The new luxury in this ES is sure to be amazing... im already thinking about a drop with some nice wheels :-D
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    Thomas
  • February 22, 2012
I see now that the "spindle" grille idea was a stupid idea from Lexus. Now they are forced to put it on theire cars no matter how awful it looks.
    P
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      Pete
    • February 22, 2012
     Its not that the spindle Grille idea is stupid, its just the way they implemented it is stupid.  The Es has those chrome fangs on it whereas the Gs dosent..shape is different.  just looks weird.  i think if theyre gonna do a grille design, it needs to be very similar across the board.  the way the grille dosent touch the front of the hood is just awkward looking. 
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    All that's really changing from ES to GS to RX is the length of the chrome along the sides of the grille-- the overall shape is the same.
    T
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      Thomas .
    • March 23, 2012
    The GS has those ugly chrome-fangs too. Only shorter. The chrome strip on the current CT's grille with just a hint of "fangs" is what they should have gone with all over the line.
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    The spindle grille isn't stupid at all, you just don't like it. Big difference.
    T
    • T
      Thomas .
    • March 23, 2012
    I still would say it's really stupid idea to put something on a car that lot's of people are laughing at(read internet comments) and some(mostly fans) are saying they "might learn to like". Bottom line is; it's bad design work.
    S
    • S
      Shane From Australia
    • February 23, 2012
    att : Thomas - i must say that i completely and whole-heartedly disagree with your comment. I like the spindle grille and reserve no hesitation suggesting it will serve the image of Lexus well. My opinion ... Lexus is heading in a good direction.
K
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    Kbk
  • February 22, 2012
Let me hear some one say they want a manual transmission. And a turbocharger. And 26 inch wheels. Like they use too. People are stupid sometimes.
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Not sure where you're going with this -- who wants a turbocharger and a manual transmission in an ES?
    S
    • S
      Shane From Australia
    • February 23, 2012
    att ; Krew - I agree with your response. The regular 3.5 v6 ES will be good and even better if Lexus offers an F-Sport derivative. My opinion ... this car will sell strong.
    T
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      Travis
    • February 23, 2012
    I think thats a cool idea
    K
    • K
    • February 24, 2012
    Ok, who besides Travis wants a turbocharger and a manual transmission in an ES? ;-)
    • Anonymous
    • February 25, 2012
    I'll take the manual - hold the turbo Memories of the 92 ES - one of my favorite Lexus vehicles of all time But in all seriousness, completely out of character for the next gen ES
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Also, please refrain from commenting under two different names. It's unnecessary. 
  • Anonymous
  • February 22, 2012
Can see the strong resemblance between this ES and the 2012 Asian Camry. Just released how similar they look. Shockingly similar cues. However, I quite like it. Looks much better than the current model. The fluid coupe silhouette is sexy. 
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Took a look at the Asian Camry, and can only see a passing resemblance. The ES is much more sculpted. 
W
Oh, come on, Lexus!  It looks too much like the GS!    I knew this was going to happen when Lexus began forcing the spindle grill design on everything.  Now the models are starting to look like each other.  It's like Lexus is trying to walk the same route as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, etc.
    B
    Now everybody has a design identity BMW has the kidney grille Lexus has the spindle Audi has a gaping hole And Mercedes has that hot mess...... BD
    W
     The problem with doing that is that all the cars end up looking the same.  Do you really want your LS be mistaken for an ES?
    B
    The C-Class and the S-Class looked the same for years.   The A4 and A8 look almost exactly alikeNobody complained.....And the grilles, the bumpers, the front clip, are all different on the GS and ESYou don't see that?BD
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Agreed -- and while these models may look alike, it's nothing compared to the "same sausage, different sizes" problem that Audi & BMW have. There's still some individuality. 
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    I have to think that Lexus has some big things planned for the new LS if the ES looks this good -- however, this new design identity is here to stay, and all Lexus models are going to share a lot of similar characteristics.
    S
    • S
      Shane From Australia
    • February 23, 2012
    Better for those who have thier ES mistaken for an LS !! Spindle grille will be a good image builder for Lexus. 
A
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    AndyL
  • February 22, 2012
Great job, I quite like it.  The new interior is way better than the ongoing model.   Besides, the front grille where the chrome goes all the way don to the bumper is no surprise --  it is consistent to the newly revised RX as they have some kind of resemblance before...
H
I really don't like this! The front looks ugly, I like the back's LS style but still an old idea already! My, the only improvement I like is the interior... The ES has become more aggressive with this new look, I thought the ES was like an old man's car?  This styling may not attract those who bought the ES in the past..I know I wouldn't!
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    Even though it's a big change from the current model, I still think this new ES is conservative enough that it will appeal to the same audience. I actually find it very classy.
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    enthusiast
  • February 22, 2012
Kia Optima. That was the first thing I thought when I saw this; which is a good thing to me because I think it's one of the smartest styled sedan today. There are two things I don't like: one is the center console; it is too wide and plasticy. It really looks like it belongs in a Camry. That’s too bad because the rest of the dash is brilliant. Hopefully it will get changed before it gets to North America. The other is the hood line. Just the other week I was criticizing the new 3-series for having the same styling faux-pas. Why couldn’t they do like on the GS? Other than those things, I think Lexus has a winner. I am looking forward to seeing it in person.
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    I'm going to hold off on any criticism of the materials until I see the new ES in person -- these are pretty blown out photos and its tough to get a good feel in that regard. As for the hood line, I'm surprised at how prominent it is, and I do wonder if the hood is properly closed. Even so, it's going to be visible like the 3-series.
M
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    MP
  • February 22, 2012
Is that a four-cylinder-engine?
    E
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      emptystreets130
    • February 22, 2012
    Yes
    M
    • M
      MT
    • February 22, 2012
    Yes it seems so. Most likely the 2AR-FE as found in the Camry. You can clearly see the four tubes (fourth on the left is covered by some additional sheet-metal) running to the cylinder head. So expect 180hp and 24/34 MPG city/highway consumption (a little down from the lighter camry).
    K
    • K
    • February 23, 2012
    I haven't really addressed the engine yet, but I would imagine it's the same 2.5 L 2AR-FE I4 engine seen in the Camry -- it's about the only thing this car appears to share with the Camry these days. 
K
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    Kaiji32003
  • February 22, 2012
This design is boring. Why doesn't Lexus employ a designer?
    S
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      Shane From Australia
    • February 23, 2012
    What's wrong with the current designer  ??
S
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    Shane From Australia
  • February 23, 2012
wow ... that is nice - very nice !! Infact, i like it alot. While i am a self confessed Lexus enthusiast, the style of the ES however has never cut it for me. However ... this new model looks great. I am really liking the direction Lexus is heading especially with the new spindle grille look across the range. And ... more & more F-Sport derivatives. Great job Lexus, keep up the effort.
F
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    FooFoo
  • February 23, 2012
It reminds me of the model before the last one. The one with halfway to the windshield headlights. 
S
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    steven
  • February 23, 2012
I really like the new ES! The way the edge of the hood goes over the grille is similar to the fourth generation ES.  http://images.jaxsportscars.com/pictures/44579144.jpg And I love the wheel design on this ES! I think it's so much better than the current twin 5-spoke design.  The only thing I don't really like about this ES is that the shift knob is the same as the current shift knob. I know I'm not a very creative person and I can't think of anything, but I was hoping that Lexus designers could have designed a new knob for the future ES. 
S
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    steven
  • February 23, 2012
And this ES looks nothing like the GS in my opinion. The spindle grille in the ES curves outward which the GS doesn't so it gives a different type emotion.  Don't yell at me. 
B
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    Bobby
  • February 23, 2012
I said i hated the GS when those camera phone pictures with it in white...then professional pics and an in-person sighting, i loved it. Now i dont dig the ES here, but with better quality pics and seeing it in person i think ill like it.
R
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    Rashad35
  • February 24, 2012
It's  bust, I'm indeed a Lexus fan, but Lexus missed the boat on this design. I was really hoping that Lexus would deliver a knockout punch to the competition, but I don't believe they will. The car is simply ugly, it looks like somebodys grandma's car. The car has no character, just bland through and through. This design doesn't come close to the previous model. I'll keep my 09 ES.  Yeah they must have really fired all their designers BIG MISTAKE!!
R
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    Rashad35
  • February 24, 2012
The new camry and avalon actually looks better (inside and out) than this Lexus.
R
  • R
    Rashad35
  • February 24, 2012
Lexus will not take the US selling crown from Mercedes nor BMW. Both cars look way better than this new design. How did they screw up so bad??
2
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    2008ES
  • February 24, 2012
I'm sorry but that seam across the front of the hood is just gross and so un-Lexus like.  A reference to the air slot on the LFA maybe?  I'm trying hard to appreciate the aggressive new front ends on these cars but some of the details make my stomach churn.
J
  • J
    Jay
  • February 26, 2012
Really, really, really hoping pricing for a well equipped hybrid version will be under $40k.
M
I like the fact that Lexus can enhance the design of the ES, but I don't like at all that is going to be like a "second GS"... Is so hard to try to design a bit different model, not over the GS? Any way, I insist, I would like to see this model also in Western Europe, not only Russia and Ukraine.
  • Anonymous
  • February 26, 2012
When I see BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi etc, they all have faces that we can identify! Lexus has had their face for twenty 20 yrs or so, and now they change it. Why? These other carmakers have identity and tradition. Lexus seems to have lost theirs.
    T
    • T
      Thomas .
    • March 23, 2012
    I agrees.
S
  • S
    steven
  • February 27, 2012
(why did my comment get deleted?)  I really like this ES! The way the hood goes over the grille reminds me of the fourth generation ES but the fourth gen's grille is a little more subtle. I love the wheel designs on this ES though! It's way better than the current twin 5-spoke.  The only thing I don't like about this ES is the shift knob. Why couldn't they design a new shift knob instead of using the current one?
    K
    • K
    • March 2, 2012
    Nice point about the hood looking like the fourth-gen ES, didn't even think of that. As for the shift knob, I was surprised they didn't bring over the one from the new GS. P.S. your comment didn't get deleted, it's right here: http://lexusenthusiast.com/2012/02/21/2013-lexus-es-spotted-in-china/#comment-447381666
    J
    • J
      Jake
    • March 5, 2012
    I thought the same. Can't believe they are using the same shift knob from the previous generation, same as the cruise control which is also used in several Toyota's models.
T
  • T
    Torino
  • February 29, 2012
I don't really that extra "lip" but I prefer the look of this to the GS overall.. the GS is so bmw like.  I'm only 25, but I've gone from wanting the GS to wanting the LS in less than a year lol.. This new ES is probably a good compromise.  I bet the ride is super smooth as usual!

T
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