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Mystery Lexus ES Spotted in California

Motor Trend spy photographers have spotted a mystery Lexus ES in California:

Mystery 2013 Lexus ES

Mystery 2013 Lexus ES Rear

For reference, here’s a shot of the “regular” ES 350:

2013 Lexus ES

Visible differences on the mystery model are black-painted wheels and different Frankenstein rear lights — curious modifications for a car that’s already seen its public debut, and makes for some interesting speculation:

  • We could be looking at a F SPORT edition of the ES, though I would expect to see some front-end camouflage were that the case.
  • Another possibility is that this is an ES equipped with All-Wheel Drive.
  • Lastly, it could simply be a ES 350 pre-production prototype, but that hardly explains the modifications.

Take a look at the photos and tell me what you think — F SPORT, AWD, ES prototype, or something else entirely?

[Source: Motor Trend] (Thanks Chris!)

Comments
K
  • K
    kyle
  • June 24, 2012
possibly a lexus ES ultra luxury edition..
    K
    • K
    • June 24, 2012
    Ultra Luxury package gets the panoramic glass roof.
    K
    • K
    • June 24, 2012
    Ultra Luxury package gets the panoramic glass roof.
B
  • B
    Bomberpete
  • June 24, 2012
could be an ES hybrid
    K
    • K
    • June 24, 2012
    ES hybrid doesn't have visible mufflers, and has a little badge on the side. :-)
    K
    • K
    • June 24, 2012
    ES hybrid doesn't have visible mufflers, and has a little badge on the side. :-)
C
Hoping its an ES AWD or F sport....id hazard a guess its an AWD if anything due to the standard ride height. 
K
  • K
    kyle
  • June 24, 2012
motor trend claims no ES F sport or AWD model will be put into production because of the way customers prefer to "steer rather than corner" this car. But they could always be wrong.. But i still wouldnt want an ES, F sport package.
    B
    • B
      blkpantha
    • June 25, 2012
    lexus said there was 5 f sport models this year... GS F SPORT RX F SPORT LS F SPORT AND IS F SPORT .. THE GX is out because it hasn't changed for 2013 so it might be an f s sport and LX has all its config already and I don't think a new CT is coming for 2013 as it already have the spindle gril from day 1
B
  • B
    BlackDynamiteNY
  • June 24, 2012
I vote AWD. I'm sure dealers were on Lexus about adding that.  And I'm sure it would help sales in the Northeast..... BD
Y
Familiar taillight , forget where I saw it before ... AWD could be it , if it's F-Sport , they should test with bigger wheels though .
    E
    • E
      Eddie
    • June 24, 2012
     Well the supposedly tweaked taillight kinda reminds me of the old Hyundai Elantra...hopefully it won't end up looking too similar. : /  My opinion, AWD!
    B
    • B
      blkpantha
    • June 25, 2012
    -_- u got to be blind there is tape on the other side relax
    K
    • K
    • June 25, 2012
    The right side taillight remains me of the HS.
    B
    • B
      blkpantha
    • June 25, 2012
    u caught that too right I taught so too
    Y
    You're right , the right side one , on the trunk , is indeed taillight of Lexus HS250h , http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/upload/11780/images/lexushs250h.jpg 
    Y
    I think I've got the answer for my own question , http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b3/Toyota_Mark_X_350S_rear.jpg  2nd generation Toyota Mark X's tail-light , notice the indicator is place toward center of the car .
O
  • O
    Ojaghian
  • June 25, 2012
this is a emissions test model. 
B
  • B
    Bobby
  • June 25, 2012
must be the tweaked model! jk hahahaha but seriously, remove some badges and black wheels and this car would look hella cleean. I hope F-Sport, but the demographic really doesnt need that, i hardly see younger audience/enthusiasts in this car. So AWD maybe, but still wouldnt really be needed. and why cover the tails? why you confuse me lexus!? haha
    B
    • B
      Bobby
    • June 25, 2012
    By "this car" i was referring to an ES350, sorry that wasnt clear.
R
Don't matter if is AWD,F-Sport,etc... Why taillights have different shape from original ES 350 and hybrid? If you remember model like GS-GSh,LS-LS600L,RX-RX400h,Lexus change only the color from taillights and headlights but not shape,just I'm saying!
M
  • M
    MT
  • June 25, 2012
It is just a normal ES 350. They forgot to remove the taping after the official launch.
D
  • D
    DuDE
  • June 25, 2012
Possible European version?
N
A large rear diffuser on ES Oo? Maybe F Sport ES I think
U
  • U
    Utt
  • June 25, 2012
The Lexus ES would look cool with wheels a bit larger..
    B
    • B
      blkpantha
    • June 25, 2012
    I think so too I think for this new design the wheel are way too little and the give the car a different look.. I think 18 or 19' would b perfect for this car
    2
    • 2
      2008ES
    • June 25, 2012
    I think 18" will be an option.
B
  • B
    Bruce Macfarlane
  • June 25, 2012
2013 ES350 F-Sport and AWD confirmed to no be available in Canada.
C
  • C
    CorradoMR2
  • June 25, 2012
My vote is neither on the AWD, nor the F-Sport.  That would be for the IS.  My feeling it it's just a standard ES 350 undergoing final testing/tweaking that is lightly camouflaged because it has not officially been sold on the market yet (August 2013).
    C
    • C
      Carmaker1
    • June 25, 2012
     The ES goes on sale in August 2012, not 2013.
    J
    August 2012.............
    C
    • C
      Corradomr2
    • June 26, 2012
    yep, typo
E
  • E
    Erich Kerner
  • June 26, 2012
i am pretty sure that a AWD model of the ES would help Lexus sell this car in some parts of the world....
M
  • M
    mrxandthexfactor
  • July 13, 2012
Unrelated: Is it me or does the first image makes the ES look boring? In the third image, the ES looks elegant. Related: This camouflaged car is unlikely to be the F-Sport. The wheels are way to small. And is the rear diffuser blacked out as well?

M
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