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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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:

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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.