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
S
Here are the photos from DDas' link.





So they are going with German small sausage - big sausage design philosophy. I hope it works for them but I don't think LS design scales down well just like how S-class design and proportions don't scale down well either.

I'm kind of disappointed they did very little to bring this new ES design up to GS resemblance if they are going to replace the GS with ES. I think they have an opportunity to make ES more upscale now that GS place as three box midsize sedan is vacant. They should have really tried to move on from that usual bubbly ES design they've introduced 3 generation ago into more lean cut 4GS kind of silhouette. This is just like how another ES would look like even if GS had remained in the lineup as is.
mediumhot
I'm kind of disappointed they did very little to bring this new ES design up to GS resemblance if they are going to replace the GS with ES.
I understand what you're saying, but imagine the reaction if you stepped into a time machine back to 1960 and told Ford execs they needed to make the Mustang look like an Edsel. I'm being excessively mean to the GS with this comparison, but sometimes cold business logic rules the day. Why would you ever want to associate a best-seller with a car that nobody's buying? (Unless the car nobody's buying is a limited edition like the LFA, of course).
Just saw the first GS-F today (that's how rare it is, I've seen more LC500s), and it blows my mind how stylish it looks. It's so hard to hate this car, but alas it doesn't sell. This is definitely a car that I will buy when I stop caring about chauffeuring clients in sofas on wheels.
Ian Schmidt
I understand what you're saying, but imagine the reaction if you stepped into a time machine back to 1960 and told Ford execs they needed to make the Mustang look like an Edsel. I'm being excessively mean to the GS with this comparison, but sometimes cold business logic rules the day. Why would you ever want to associate a best-seller with a car that nobody's buying? (Unless the car nobody's buying is a limited edition like the LFA, of course).
New ES will become a global player for the first time next year, it's completely different ball game now. I hope I'm wrong but from what I see they are carrying over US Camry/Avalon bubble sedan design of previous ES with new LS500 details. Camry never succeeded anywhere else but in North America and Russia. It still sells in few other markets such as Australia, China, some parts of Middle East and Japan but it's sales impact is marginal. Avalon only exists in North America if I'm not wrong. Both Camry and Avalon and Lexus ES have design philosophy of US first and it seems like it didn't change for new ES.

Anyway new A6 is debuting next month and it will be the closest competitor ES will have.
mediumhot
New ES will become a global player for the first time next year, it's completely different ball game now. I hope I'm wrong but from what I see they are carrying over US Camry/Avalon bubble sedan design of previous ES with new LS500 details. Camry never succeeded anywhere else but in North America and Russia. It still sells in few other markets such as Australia, China, some parts of Middle East and Japan but it's sales impact is marginal. Avalon only exists in North America if I'm not wrong. Both Camry and Avalon and Lexus ES have design philosophy of US first and it seems like it didn't change for new ES.

Anyway new A6 is debuting next month and it will be the closest competitor ES will have.
How would you want Camry to succeed everywhere? It is not supposed to - it is too large vehicle for Europe and Japan and way too expensive for South Asia, India or South America.

Dont let the assumptions fool you, Camry is #1 best selling midsized sedan in the world:
https://focus2move.com/world-best-selling-mid-size-cars/

It sold 300k outside USA.
Based on those spy shots, it looks like a Hyundai Sonata:



Also, looks like Lexus is working to surpass even the 4RX's front overhang. Impressive (not)! If you scroll through the images in the link, there's one that was left out and it's not looking good for proportions.
Gecko
Based on those spy shots, it looks like a Hyundai Sonata:



Also, looks like Lexus is working to surpass even the 4RX's front overhang. Impressive (not)! If you scroll through the images in the link, there's one that was left out and it's not looking good for proportions.
heh, lets realize that Sonata copied Lexus ES, even 2001 XV30 had wraparound rear lights, which were continued with XV40 and XV60.

As the overhang, so far all of the TNGA vehicles made it smaller.
It is not just a rumour anymore. Lexus dealers have already been told to prepare for GS skipping a generation in Europe while the new ES will replace it. My hope is that the ES will lift Lexus so much in Europe that GS will be re-introduced alongside it.
C
This article lines up with what a regional rep recently told our dealership about the upcoming ES. My original question to the rep was about the brand's plans for the GS, to which he responded by saying that once people drove the next gen ES, they would forget about the GS. Says the car is being developed to perform like a RWD vehicle.

He also says that the LF-1 will debut in 3 years time. He alluded to the company still having a plan for the GS though his response was extremely vague. I personally feel that they are going to reintroduce the GS as a 5 door performance crossover or the LF-1. The concept lines up almost flawlessly with what the GS was originally purposeed to be as a performance based flagship. Bumping the model up range and making it a crossover would give the GS it's own identity in the line-up. Either way these are very exciting times for the brand.
I don’t think it is a good idea to have ES’s design to be similar as LS’s. This will create the same problem to S class owners when people confused it with E and C class.
Not really enthused by the look of that front overhang, but excited to see the final model.
Craig Smith
.....once people drove the next gen ES, they would forget about the GS. Says the car is being developed to perform like a RWD vehicle.

He alluded to the company still having a plan for the GS though his response was extremely vague. I personally feel that they are going to reintroduce the GS .... making it a crossover would give the GS it's own identity in the line-up. Either way these are very exciting times for the brand.
This confirms my suspicions as well RE the ES possibly displacing the current GS and eventually ... something new in the GS line.

I'm very interested to find out whether there will be powertrain options in the new ES, for instance more HP for a higher performance trim, rather than simply a F-Sport trim that doesn't differ in performance.
Gecko
Not really enthused by the look of that front overhang, but excited to see the final model.
lets hope it ends up looking good... especially the interior.

heck lets hope it is a worldwide model, not just USA, Russia and China.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • February 26, 2018
If there is a new touch screen, I hope it is executed better than the one that protrudes in the new Avalon. A little too Tesla-esk for me.

View attachment 2751

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RIP the performance 4doors sedan GS
maiaramdan
RIP the performance 4doors sedan GS
You can always get a CLS or 6 series.
D
Lexus Cohen
You can always get a CLS or 6 series.
Yawp. Get a 6er for sure!
I can already tell this car will be hideous!
I can already tell this car will be hideous!
spwolf
How would you want Camry to succeed everywhere? It is not supposed to - it is too large vehicle for Europe and Japan and way too expensive for South Asia, India or South America.

Dont let the assumptions fool you, Camry is #1 best selling midsized sedan in the world:
https://focus2move.com/world-best-selling-mid-size-cars/

It sold 300k outside USA.
Mazda 6 is as big as Camry, so is Mondeo. 2017 Mazda 6 European sales almost outsold total number of Camrys ever sold in Europe. Anyway for Camry's demise in Europe I solely blame the design for being too NA centric much like ES. Lexus has never had the guts to bring ES to go head to head with GS in Europe so we will never know what could have happened between the two.

Interior will be make it or brake it game for ES on global scale. Upgrading the interior to GS quality will most likely mean hefty increase in price which then leaves US without affordable Lexus midsize sedan. I don't know its weird to guess at this time what's actually going on.
^The ace in the hole for the ES is going to be TNGA, and sharing a platform with the Camry and Avalon, so it is inherently cheaper to produce than GS from the beginning. Lexus can significantly invest in the interior and options like F-Sport, and the car will still be a fraction of the cost of the E Class. They can put in a 12.3" infotainment screen, stitched leather dash and doors, wood grain and make the car feel very expensive from the inside... those are cosmetic things and that tech is also shared across RX, LS, etc. It's such an easy formula for Lexus.

Now, yesterday, we got the details on Toyota's new Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system and the new eFour AWD systems. My biggest struggle with Dynamic Torque Control (current system) is that it requires a wheel to slip before power is distributed to the rear end, so, for spirited driving, you essentially have to invoke torque steer or break traction before the system kicks in. Not ideal, not confidence inspiring, not fun to drive.

One critical component for the ES is going to be whether or not Lexus has developed a full-time AWD system with an active torque split. This will prevent torque steer and help the car behave and drive like one that is not as front heavy, FWD-biased. Something like a 50/50 or 40/60 torque distribution front/rear would help to make everyone forget the GS ever even existed, and it would expand the upper limits of an ES F Sport model.

The press release reads as follows:

The new Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system is used in gasoline engine vehicles. By adopting a torque vectoring mechanism, which independently distributes torque to the left and right rear wheels according to driving conditions, the Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system enables the driver to steer the vehicle exactly as intended. It achieves high off-road performance even on the toughest roads. It also incorporates a disconnect mechanism, which features the world's first ratchet-type dog clutches* on both the front and rear wheel shafts. These clutches stop the drive system rotations, which transmit driving force to rear wheels when in 2WD mode, significantly reducing energy loss and improving fuel efficiency.
It sounds to me like the system still defaults to 100% FWD until there is a loss of traction - not ideal for performance driving. HOWEVER, I think it's reasonable for Toyota to have engineered a version of this system that will fully lock the power split between front and rear... perhaps in Sport or Sport + mode. It could also be standard on F-Sport models.

Something like this is literally a must-have for the next gen RX or ES as they continue to grow in size and receive more horsepower.

Moreover, both the Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system and the new E-Four system feature AWD Integrated Management (AIM), which harmonizes engine, transmission, braking, and 4WD systems to offer superb handling and stability regardless of road surface conditions.
This quote makes me wonder if one of the "AIM" settings could be a Sport or Sport+ mode where the torque is actively split front and rear. I assume we will know more with ES debut in a few months.
mediumhot
Mazda 6 is as big as Camry, so is Mondeo. 2017 Mazda 6 European sales almost outsold total number of Camrys ever sold in Europe. Anyway for Camry's demise in Europe I solely blame the design for being too NA centric much like ES. Lexus has never had the guts to bring ES to go head to head with GS in Europe so we will never know what could have happened between the two.

Interior will be make it or brake it game for ES on global scale. Upgrading the interior to GS quality will most likely mean hefty increase in price which then leaves US without affordable Lexus midsize sedan. I don't know its weird to guess at this time what's actually going on.
I am not sure if you realize that Camry was not sold in EU? It sells in Russia and Ukraine only. We have Avensis to sell in Europe.
And actually Camry in Russia outsells all of European Mazda 6 sales for 2017 :).

But sure, I would much prefer hybrid Mazda 6 than Camry.
Gecko
^The ace in the hole for the ES is going to be TNGA, and sharing a platform with the Camry and Avalon, so it is inherently cheaper to produce than GS from the beginning. Lexus can significantly invest in the interior and options like F-Sport, and the car will still be a fraction of the cost of the E Class. They can put in a 12.3" infotainment screen, stitched leather dash and doors, wood grain and make the car feel very expensive from the inside... those are cosmetic things and that tech is also shared across RX, LS, etc. It's such an easy formula for Lexus.

Now, yesterday, we got the details on Toyota's new Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system and the new eFour AWD systems. My biggest struggle with Dynamic Torque Control (current system) is that it requires a wheel to slip before power is distributed to the rear end, so, for spirited driving, you essentially have to invoke torque steer or break traction before the system kicks in. Not ideal, not confidence inspiring, not fun to drive.

One critical component for the ES is going to be whether or not Lexus has developed a full-time AWD system with an active torque split. This will prevent torque steer and help the car behave and drive like one that is not as front heavy, FWD-biased. Something like a 50/50 or 40/60 torque distribution front/rear would help to make everyone forget the GS ever even existed, and it would expand the upper limits of an ES F Sport model.

The press release reads as follows:



It sounds to me like the system still defaults to 100% FWD until there is a loss of traction - not ideal for performance driving. HOWEVER, I think it's reasonable for Toyota to have engineered a version of this system that will fully lock the power split between front and rear... perhaps in Sport or Sport + mode. It could also be standard on F-Sport models.

Something like this is literally a must-have for the next gen RX or ES as they continue to grow in size and receive more horsepower.



This quote makes me wonder if one of the "AIM" settings could be a Sport or Sport+ mode where the torque is actively split front and rear. I assume we will know more with ES debut in a few months.
Sure when it comes to the ES, but keep in mind that pricing is generally a marketing decision. Lets hope they use similar pricing as in US, where it is priced around IS. That would be awesome.

I think current Dynamic Torque system does help a bit when wheels are rotating at different speed (corner) but where it fails completely is when one back wheel is in air, too much power is lost for other wheel to be able to move the vehicle... but now that should work fine. That integration system - AIM should certainly improve it all.

But this specific system is for UX and similar vehicles... it does not mean that ES will get it - still a lot of AWD systems missing here:

On UX system there is certainly no center diff in the pic.

Gecko
^The ace in the hole for the ES is going to be TNGA, and sharing a platform with the Camry and Avalon, so it is inherently cheaper to produce than GS from the beginning. Lexus can significantly invest in the interior and options like F-Sport, and the car will still be a fraction of the cost of the E Class. They can put in a 12.3" infotainment screen, stitched leather dash and doors, wood grain and make the car feel very expensive from the inside... those are cosmetic things and that tech is also shared across RX, LS, etc. It's such an easy formula for Lexus.

Now, yesterday, we got the details on Toyota's new Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system and the new eFour AWD systems. My biggest struggle with Dynamic Torque Control (current system) is that it requires a wheel to slip before power is distributed to the rear end, so, for spirited driving, you essentially have to invoke torque steer or break traction before the system kicks in. Not ideal, not confidence inspiring, not fun to drive.

One critical component for the ES is going to be whether or not Lexus has developed a full-time AWD system with an active torque split. This will prevent torque steer and help the car behave and drive like one that is not as front heavy, FWD-biased. Something like a 50/50 or 40/60 torque distribution front/rear would help to make everyone forget the GS ever even existed, and it would expand the upper limits of an ES F Sport model.

The press release reads as follows:



It sounds to me like the system still defaults to 100% FWD until there is a loss of traction - not ideal for performance driving. HOWEVER, I think it's reasonable for Toyota to have engineered a version of this system that will fully lock the power split between front and rear... perhaps in Sport or Sport + mode. It could also be standard on F-Sport models.

Something like this is literally a must-have for the next gen RX or ES as they continue to grow in size and receive more horsepower.



This quote makes me wonder if one of the "AIM" settings could be a Sport or Sport+ mode where the torque is actively split front and rear. I assume we will know more with ES debut in a few months.
spwolf
Sure when it comes to the ES, but keep in mind that pricing is generally a marketing decision. Lets hope they use similar pricing as in US, where it is priced around IS. That would be awesome.

I think current Dynamic Torque system does help a bit when wheels are rotating at different speed (corner) but where it fails completely is when one back wheel is in air, too much power is lost for other wheel to be able to move the vehicle... but now that should work fine. That integration system - AIM should certainly improve it all.

But this specific system is for UX and similar vehicles... it does not mean that ES will get it - still a lot of AWD systems missing here:

On UX system there is certainly no center diff in the pic.

let me just say that you guys are great! love these posts about specific mechanics (how these things work and are differentiated from others). I have learned so much from reading posts like yours! Love Lexus Enthusiast!
spwolf
I am not sure if you realize that Camry was not sold in EU? It sells in Russia and Ukraine only. We have Avensis to sell in Europe.
And actually Camry in Russia outsells all of European Mazda 6 sales for 2017 :).

But sure, I would much prefer hybrid Mazda 6 than Camry.
Camry was on sale in Europe from late '90s to early '00s
mediumhot
Camry was on sale in Europe from late '90s to early '00s right? But it doesn't matter anyway...
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?
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?
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.
mediumhot
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.
Hopefully not. They need to go turbo and go AWD. There are way too many complaints of unnecessary torque steer in the Camry. Lexus cannot afford to do this.

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