Lexus ES: Sixth GenerationSpy Shots

Spy Shots: Next-Generation Lexus ES Shows Family Resemblance to LS Flagship

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Prototypes of the next-generation Lexus ES sedan were photographed last week in Kentucky by Redditor mar_kelp and published by The Drive — let’s look a little closer:

Despite the swirling camouflage, it’s possible to see the influence of the new LS in the slope of the roof and heft of the trunk lid. The lights are less complex and the overall appearance is softer, but there’s definitely a family resemblance to the Lexus flagship.

In another photo, the center console display is visible:

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There are two photos of the ES prototypes driving in the rain:

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“Lexus

Here, the similarities with the LS are undeniable — the prototype’s design is simplified somewhat and there are concessions to the front-wheel-drive platform, but squint your eyes and it could almost be the same car:

“Lexus

The next-generation ES is set to be one of the most important cars in the Lexus lineup. Not only will it demonstrate how the new design philosophy of the LS sedan & LC coupe translates to a mass market vehicle, but rumors suggest this new ES will replace the GS as the global mid-size sedan.

Will the resemblance to the LS be a benefit or a hinderance? Will this car be aggressive enough to supplant the GS, and does that even matter to Lexus sedan buyers? From these spy shots, I would say we’ll get the full picture soon enough.

Comments
mediumhot
I saw one ten years ago. You could tell miles away that it doesn't share nothing with Euro Toyota back then. And that US made bubbly butt didn't sit well at all on tiny euro roads :) There was also a rumor that TLX was about to be new euro Accord, that actually made sense to tell you the truth but then new Civic happened and that was about it. Avensis at this point is a joke but it does sell in good numbers compared to how outdated it is, the recent refresh does look good in some weird Toyota anemic way. Very ES like in details.

Anyway new A6 just debuted, so far only petrol option is 3.0 Turbo. Interior is carbon copy of A7 (in top trim of course). Let's see what ES can do to match it. I imagine top trim in EU will be a 300h which again makes sense but what about US? I don't see any kind of V6 turbo in it, most likely it will be Camry/Avalon carry over of NA V6. Hopefully there will be some new PU debut alongside it.
Germans always liked importing US cars, maybe thats how. And yeah, looked really crappy around here.

Honda is much smaller player in Europe so their decision makes sense.

As to A6, interior looks nice, I am sure even the base models will be OK, even if missing most of the stuff... and engines? Diesel will be >90% of the sales until that 2.0l petrol arrives? And then it will be 89% of the sales? :). So much for dirty diesel going away, but hey they got really really "mild" hybrids.

Problem with 2.0l petrol now is new regulation that requires pm filters for turbo petrols, making them not cost effective anymore.

ES can compete really well with 300h at lower to mid side of the market, where it needs to. That chart of new TNGA engines is missing an engine between 3.5tt and 2.5l from Camry, so I guess thats going into ES.

If Lexus can price it similar to the US, which is similar pricing to the IS, they can really do well in the market... with well being reasonable sales of 5k units in complete market including Russia.
S
I don't think the new Dynamic Torque Vectoring will be used on the ES, at least not on the higher power F-Sport models. With 300+hp it needs full-time AWD while the DTV system launched earlier this week is still a FWD-heavy design. Or maybe that mysterious AWD management system is tuned to lock into full-time mode on the ES F-sport.
ssun30
I don't think the new Dynamic Torque Vectoring will be used on the ES, at least not on the higher power F-Sport models. With 300+hp it needs full-time AWD while the DTV system launched earlier this week is still a FWD-heavy design. Or maybe that mysterious AWD management system is tuned to lock into full-time mode on the ES F-sport.
This specific system is certainly for UX... maybe for larger cars they will have torsen diff in the middle?

Or maybe they wont have AWD in ES at all :)
spwolf
Or maybe they wont have AWD in ES at all :)
They will ;)
spwolf
Germans always liked importing US cars, maybe thats how. And yeah, looked really crappy around here.

Honda is much smaller player in Europe so their decision makes sense.

As to A6, interior looks nice, I am sure even the base models will be OK, even if missing most of the stuff... and engines? Diesel will be >90% of the sales until that 2.0l petrol arrives? And then it will be 89% of the sales? :). So much for dirty diesel going away, but hey they got really really "mild" hybrids.

Problem with 2.0l petrol now is new regulation that requires pm filters for turbo petrols, making them not cost effective anymore.

ES can compete really well with 300h at lower to mid side of the market, where it needs to. That chart of new TNGA engines is missing an engine between 3.5tt and 2.5l from Camry, so I guess thats going into ES.

If Lexus can price it similar to the US, which is similar pricing to the IS, they can really do well in the market... with well being reasonable sales of 5k units in complete market including Russia.
Let's see what happens. I also think they will introduce ES in near vicinity of IS price range all over the world. There is too much of a gamble to increase ES MSRP in US and alienate the current sales. This also means cost cutting in interior is here to stay but engine could surprise us. Like I said I won't be surprised if V6 is just a carryover but a proper 2.0T or Mazda like torque happy 2.5T would be a blessing in disguise.
Re: pricing, I think they will be able to keep the base price similar to what it is now by offering a base 2.0T, and then significantly expand on the upper end into GS territory. My assumption is something like this:

ES 350 Base: $42,000
  • All-new 2.0T I4 with 8AT, 275hp / 295lb-ft of torque
  • Standard: Front wheel drive
  • Standard: Nuluxe interior options: Flaxen, Black, Stratus Gray, Parchment, with 1-2 basic wood trim options
  • Standard: 9" infotainment screen, 17" wheels, projector headlights with LED DRLs, moonroof, Lexus Safety System+
  • Options: 18" wheels, Lexus Safety System+ A, 360 degree birds eye view camera, Cold weather package
  • Max "Loaded" Price: $47,000
ES 350 "Luxury"/AWD: $45,000 / $47,850 (AWD)
  • All-new 2.0T I4 with 8AT, 275hp / 295lb-ft of torque
  • Standard: Front wheel drive, Optional: Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD (+$2,850)
  • Standard: Leather interior options: Flaxen, Black, Stratus Gray, Parchment with a unique wood option for each
  • Standard: 12.3" infotainment screen, 18" wheels, Lexus Safety System+
  • Options: 18" or 19" wheel options, Lexus Safety System +A, 360 degree birds eye view camera, Panoramic Roof, Mark Levinson audio, LED headlights with LED DRLs,
  • Max "Loaded" Price: $52,500
ES 400 "Luxury" AWD: $53,000
  • All-new 2.5L TT I4 or 3.0L T V6 (either will be an all-new Dynamic Force engine) with 10AT, 375hp / 395lb-ft of torque
  • Standard: All-new active AWD system with full time torque split between front and rear
  • Standard: Upgraded leather interior options: Black, Nobel Spinel Mica, Parchment, Flaxen with a unique wood option for each
  • Standard: 12.3" infotainment screen, 19" wheels, Lexus Safety System+ A, Panoramic Roof, LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Options: 19" wheels options, Cold weather package, Mark Levinson audio, HUD, 360 degree birds eye view camera
  • Max "Loaded" Price: $61,000
ES 400 F-Sport AWD: $54,500
  • All-new 2.5L TT I4 or 3.0L T V6 (either will be an all-new Dynamic Force engine) with 10AT, 375hp / 395lb-ft of torque
  • Standard: All-new active AWD system with full time torque split between front and rear
  • Standard: Upgraded leather interior options: Black, Flaxen, Rioja Red with wood or Naguri aluminum trim
  • Standard: 20" wheels, 12.3" infotainment screen, Lexus Safety System+ A, LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Options: Lexus Dynamic Handling Package, Panoramic Roof, Mark Levinson audio, HUD, 360 degree birds eye view camera
  • Max "Loaded" Price: $64,500

A spread like this covers the current ES and GS, while also tucking neatly under the LS's $75,000 base price while offering a similar model breakout. If Lexus does price and package the car like this, it will put a major hurting on the E Class, A6 and even 5er, IMO. The Mercedes and BMW have become astronomically expensive over the last few years and I don't think FWD/RWD is a major purchase point for 90% of buyers.
@Gecko that wont ever happen, thats way too many options for a Lexus in the US :)

I expect base V6 in the US, like today... this is what US buyers want, not turbo 4cly. Also TMC has new 300h already, it has 208hp.
Some kind of updated 2.0t will feature in worldwide markets.

And maybe AWD option i guess.
spwolf
@Gecko that wont ever happen, thats way too many options for a Lexus in the US :)

I expect base V6 in the US, like today... this is what US buyers want, not turbo 4cly. Also TMC has new 300h already, it has 208hp.
Some kind of updated 2.0t will feature in worldwide markets.

And maybe AWD option i guess.
It's really a rather simplified model compared to what is offered now between ES and GS.

One base model
One "in-between" model
Two top end models, depending on whether you want luxury or sport
+ hybrids

I'm fairly confident ES will come with a 2.0T as base, as GS has.
p.s. those TNGA new powertrains show one engine between 3.5tt and 2.5l NA, as well as one hybrid over 300h and below new 500h.

I am pretty sure that petrol engine will be some form of V6 coming to the new ES, but not sure about hybrid, it might end up coming to next Highlander and RX but not ES?
spwolf
p.s. those TNGA new powertrains show one engine between 3.5tt and 2.5l NA, as well as one hybrid over 300h and below new 500h.

I am pretty sure that petrol engine will be some form of V6 coming to the new ES, but not sure about hybrid, it might end up coming to next Highlander and RX but not ES?
Agreed. I am hoping the engine between 3.5L TT and 2.5L NA is a 3.0L 6 cylinder of some variety. I assume we'll find out with ES reveal this year.

With how little support there was for the GS 450h, I have a hard time thinking Lexus would bother with another midsize V6 hybrid sedan, so I'd agree that the mid-level hybrid will probably come to RXh and Highlander.

Lots of pieces to place still. Exciting times at Lexus and Toyota... we only waited over a decade! :)
Gecko
Agreed. I am hoping the engine between 3.5L TT and 2.5L NA is a 3.0L 6 cylinder of some variety. I assume we'll find out with ES reveal this year.

With how little support there was for the GS 450h, I have a hard time thinking Lexus would bother with another midsize V6 hybrid sedan, so I'd agree that the mid-level hybrid will probably come to RXh and Highlander.

Lots of pieces to place still. Exciting times at Lexus and Toyota... we only waited over a decade! :)
indeed.

As to the 2.0t, it will likely come to other markets where emissions matter just like current ES has 2.0l and 2.5l options and RX has 2.0t.
P
Gecko
Re: pricing, I

ES 400 "Luxury" AWD: $53,000
  • All-new 2.5L TT I4 or 3.0L T V6 (either will be an all-new Dynamic Force engine) with 10AT, 375hp / 395lb-ft of torque
  • Standard: All-new active AWD system with full time torque split between front and rear
  • Standard: Upgraded leather interior options: Black, Nobel Spinel Mica, Parchment, Flaxen with a unique wood option for each
  • Standard: 12.3" infotainment screen, 19" wheels, Lexus Safety System+ A, Panoramic Roof, LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Options: 19" wheels options, Cold weather package, Mark Levinson audio, HUD, 360 degree birds eye view camera
  • Max "Loaded" Price: $61,000
ES 400 F-Sport AWD: $54,500
  • All-new 2.5L TT I4 or 3.0L T V6 (either will be an all-new Dynamic Force engine) with 10AT, 375hp / 395lb-ft of torque
  • Standard: All-new active AWD system with full time torque split between front and rear
  • Standard: Upgraded leather interior options: Black, Flaxen, Rioja Red with (Naguri?) aluminum trim
  • Standard: 20" wheels, 12.3" infotainment screen, Lexus Safety System+ A, LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Options: Lexus Dynamic Handling Package, Panoramic Roof, Mark Levinson audio, HUD, 360 degree birds eye view camera
  • Max "Loaded" Price: $64,500
.
I really hope they do this. I especially like the F-Sport package idea you have. This will more than cover what the GS had to offer.
Gecko
A spread like this covers the current ES and GS, while also tucking neatly under the LS's $75,000 base price while offering a similar model breakout. If Lexus does price and package the car like this, it will put a major hurting on the E Class, A6 and even 5er, IMO. The Mercedes and BMW have become astronomically expensive over the last few years and I don't think FWD/RWD is a major purchase point for 90% of buyers.
I think someone might have missed their calling as a product planner! Great ideas here, @Gecko!
S
The first wave of ES won't debut with all models and trims at the same time. The early models will probably be the ES250, 300h, and NA-spec 350. Later drivetrain options is really going to be hard to predict. AWD is unknown because we don't know if there's going to be a full-time system designed specifically for high power (transverse) applications.
ssun30
Why leave out a F-Sport with V35A? It would sufficiently replace the role of GS-F at a lower price point (say, $65-70k). I don't mean it will replace the GS-F, but just offers a performance vehicle at a more accessible price point. The '43 AMG' territory really seems like the sweetspot for performance vehicles from a sales perspective.
Are you talking about ES F or ES F-Sport? F-Sport cars never have an engine upgrade, and I doubt the V6 used in the ES will be the V35A-FTS. That engine could work for an ES F but...

1) The GS F was already ridiculed enough for having 125hp less than the competition. A 416hp ES F would be even worse from a marketing/halo perspective.

2) I'm still shooting blind with upper level V6 and AWD options, so I think 416hp/442lb-ft might be a stretch for what is an FWD platform at heart.

If there's a plan for a true active AWD system and that chassis can support more power, then I say keep the weight as low as possible bring on the ES F.
Gecko
If there's a plan for a true active AWD system and that chassis can support more power, then I say keep the weight as low as possible bring on the ES F.
:scream: ES F. The whole world is turning upside down!
S
Gecko
F-Sport cars never have an engine upgrade.
It doesn't have to stay that way. Maybe Lexus figured they could charge a larger premium but still undercut competitor prices if it does offer an engine upgrade. In the drivetrain decode thread we found there's likely no V6 below the V35A-FTS, so my guess will only make sense if Lexus does not plan to introduce the 350-400hp range ES in the near future (i.e. the 'top mainstream' ES is a 3.5 or 2.0T and does not go above $60k).

416hp certainly won't be enough for a F-car and will be a F-sport only. I don't think they will seriously consider an ES-F. The market for $80k+ mid-size super sedans is very limited. Most AMG buyers take an E43 instead of the 63.

Basically my reasoning is that this ES F-Sport is something they can make NOW and launch on Day One. Such a model will shut down a lot of criticism on replacing the GS and will allow the ES to tap into a higher margin segment. It makes sense both from a PR perspective and a financial perspective. Not making it and waiting for the intermediate engine, however, will be perceived as a weakness.
@ssun30 I love this idea and hope they do it!

My personal assumption is the engine between the A25A and V35A will be a turbo 3.0L V6. Why? ToMoCo has a lot of vehicles to power with that engine, and many of them are trucks and SUVs:

Highlander
4Runner
Tacoma
Tundra
RX
GX, if replaced
LF-1, if they so decide
LS in global markets
ES
RC

Knowing Toyota's rigorous standards for powertrain development and longevity, I think powering something like a 4Runner or Tundra might be a bit taxing for a TT I4 over time. Not to mention, I think anything under 6 cylinders is a turn off for your average Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra buyer.

That's going to be a workhorse engine across many of their North American vehicles, so I assume it'll be a 6 instead of a 4. For most of the rest of the world, the new 2.0T is probably enough engine for gasoline propulsion.
S
Gecko
That's going to be a workhorse engine across many of their North American vehicles, so I assume it'll be a 6 instead of a 4.
Sure it can happen, TMC could be intentionally using smoke and mirrors in that image.
I think we all need to stop thinking inside the box... nobody will be annoyed if we had ES F with 416hp bi-turbo engine and AWD for $60k well optioned.

Audi has been doing it for decades now.

Lexus does not have to be held to some impossible standards to meet.
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spwolf
Maybe some specific market had them which is why they show up in carsalesbase database, but actual competitor to Mazda 6 and Euro Accord and middle class (Passat, Mondeo, Vectra/Insignia) were Corona, Carina and then Avensis, and thats going back to late 60's.

There are some possibly valid rumors that next-gen international Camry will come to Europe and replace Avensis due to low sales in failing sedan market, so that might actually end up being true in the future. Question then is what will Burnaston factory then produce?
The Camry was available in Europe until 2004, even longer in some select markets. It was placed a class higher than those cars you've mentioned and competed with similar offerings from mainstream makes (e.g. Honda Legend, Opel Omega...) and to some lesser degree with offerings from premium makes.
BenzCity
The Camry was available in Europe until 2004, even longer in some select markets. It was placed a class higher than those cars you've mentioned and competed with similar offerings from mainstream makes (e.g. Honda Legend, Opel Omega...) and to some lesser degree with offerings from premium makes.
is this in Germany? Wasnt around here...
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spwolf
is this in Germany? Wasnt around here...
It was definitely officially sold in Germany. According to German Wikipedia it was available until 2004 and I have seen a few Camry wagons here. Pretty sure it was also available in other Western European markets.

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