FeaturesLexus ES: Sixth Generation

Introducing the All-New 2019 Lexus ES 350 & ES 300h

Lexus ES Hero

The seventh-generation Lexus ES sedan has just been revealed at the Beijing Motor Show, and it’s time to dive into our coverage — let’s start off with the official press release.


  • Emotional Design Reflects New Dynamic Capabilities
  • Introduction of the First F SPORT Model in the ES Lineup
  • Hybrid Model Delivers Exceptional Mileage and Improved Performance

BEIJING – After six generations of unprecedented success in the entry-luxury sedan category, the next-generation Lexus ES is forging a new, more ambitious path. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the seventh-generation ES builds on its strengths with an all- new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT.

Lexus ES Interior

Representing the third vehicle in the Future Chapter of Lexus that started with the LC coupe and LS sedan, the new ES expands that vision of the brand’s future to a broader audience. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious, quieter and safer than ever before while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, class-leading active safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment.

The New Dimension of ES Design

Built on the all-new Global Architecture – K (GA-K) platform, the new ES pushes the limits of design in the luxury sedan class. This ES is longer (+2.6 in), lower (-.2 in) and wider (+1.8 in.) than before with wheels that have been pushed closer to the corners thanks to a two-inch longer wheelbase and wider tracks front (+.4 in) and rear (+1.5 in). Its stance and proportions reflect its newfound performance capabilities and give the ES the kind of eye-catching appearance that will make owners take a second look as they walk away.

Lexus ES Side Profile

Project Chief Designer, Yasuo Kajino, describes the look of the ES as “provocative elegance”.

“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan. For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”

To create a dynamic yet fluid shape, Kaijino’s team used the low hood enabled by the new ES platform to produce a distinctive silhouette emphasized by an aggressive downward slant. Up front, the ES offers two dramatically different grille designs. The standard ES 350 and the ES 300h use elegant vertical bars that radiate out from the center while the ES 350 F SPORT model adopts a blacked out pattern consisting of “L”-shaped clusters with corresponding cut outs at each corner of the fascia.

Lexus ES Front

In a break with ES models of the past, the seventh-generation design uses a fast roofline that emphasizes its lower stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end is clean and sharply chiseled, with LED taillamps that wrap around the quarter panels to provide a continuous styling line from any angle. F SPORT models add a rear spoiler, additional rear badging and a dark lower valance to further refine the look.

Lexus ES Rear

There are three different wheel designs (standard 17-inch, two 18-inch) for the ES 350 and ES 300h while the ES 350 F SPORT gets standard 19-inch wheels with a design similar to that found on the LC coupe.

Lexus ES Wheel

A dozen colors make up the exterior paint palette including two new shades, one green and one beige, that are anything but typical. Moonbeam Beige Metallic was designed to mimic light reflecting off fresh snow, while Sunlit Green replicates the color of ocean water brightened by the sun. F SPORT models get an exclusive Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0 color that complements its high-energy design.

The Future of Lexus Interiors

When designing the look and feel of the ES’s interior, Kajino’s team started with the Lexus Future Interior concept which blends a driver-centric cockpit with a spacious and comfortable area for the front passenger. In the ES, the driver’s focus is kept on the road ahead by placing the center display screen, instrument panel and available heads up display in a tight cluster in the driver’s field of view. Front passengers, on the other hand, get a more open and spacious environment that promotes relaxation.

Lexus ES Interior Angle

Rear seat passenger comfort has long been a hallmark of the ES and the seventh-generation model still prioritizes rear package capability despite the sleeker exterior roofline. A lower hip point and a carefully configured headliner preserve headroom while the longer wheelbase delivers generous legroom.

Lexus ES Rear Seats

To create an entirely different appearance for the inside of new F SPORT model, an all-new kind of metallic cabin trim was developed that is unlike anything else Lexus has done before. Inspired by the making of a traditional Japanese sword, Hadori aluminum trim features fluctuating wave patterns that give it a three-dimensional appearance that varies depending on the viewing angle. The effect is subtle yet indicative of the level of detail and craftsmanship that Kajino’s team put into giving the F SPORT a unique place in the lineup.

Lexus Interior Trim

The standard ES 350 and ES 300h will continue to offer traditional materials like Matte Bamboo, Linear Dark Mocha and Linear Espresso wood which give the ES a hand-crafted appearance that luxury buyers expect in this category.

A New Era of Performance

The engineering team led by Yasuhiro Sakakibara had one clear goal when it came to the ES: transform the image of the ES. That meant turning a sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness into one that is equally capable of delivering class-leading handling and power that you can feel and hear.

Lexus ES Driving

According to Sakakibara, this ES was built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of performance than any of its predecessors. “We knew that this ES had to feel responsive and easy to drive, no matter what kind of road it was on and that can only be achieved with a solid foundation.”

The starting point was the newly developed GA-K chassis. It’s an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis, rivalling the GA-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC coupe and LS sedan in terms of torsional stiffness. Various grades of high-tensile steel reduce weight versus previous platforms while additional enhancements like an all-new multi-link rear suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat gave the engineers the flexibility to tune the ES with a newfound level of precision.

Lexus ES Driving Again

All of the upgrades to the chassis were designed to deliver a sense of comforting predictability coupled with a feeling of quick response to every movement. Yoshiaki Ito, chief test driver for Lexus, describes the ES’s heightened level and refined definition of comfort by saying: “We want every kind of driver to feel a sense of complete control when they are behind the wheel of the ES. It’s a level of comfort that goes beyond merely delivering a smooth ride.”

For an enhanced level of dynamic performance, F SPORT models offer an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) similar to that found on the LC coupe. AVS adds adjustable dampers at each corner that feature 650 levels of damping force for the ultimate in control over any surface. Another F SPORT exclusive is a Sport+ mode for the Drive Mode Select system that selects the most aggressive engine, transmission and suspension settings for maximum performance. A new Engine Sound Enhancement feature is also activated in Sport+ mode that adds an additional layer of engine noise that enhances the natural rhythms of the spirited driving.

Standard V6 Power and a New 8-Speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission

All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that is designed to deliver commanding acceleration along with an invigorating sound. With an update to D4-S fuel injection, the impressively smooth engine now develops 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Both of those numbers are up significantly (+34 hp, +19 lb-ft) compared to the previous generation V6.

Lexus ES Engine

In addition to the boost in power, the ES 350 also benefits from a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. It uses an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi-plate lock up clutch to more efficiently transfer power to the front wheels, and has been tuned to deliver crisp, precisely timed shifts with quick responses. With a wider spread of ratios, the new eight speed is able to utilize high torque gears on the low end for quick starts and tall gearing on the high end for optimum efficiency.

Fourth Generation Hybrid Drive System

Not to be outdone by its gasoline siblings, the ES 300h is capable of delivering exceptional fuel efficiency, responsive performance and minimal emissions for an entry-level luxury sedan. A new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System couples an ultra-efficient, Atkinson cycle 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine with a lighter, more compact, more power dense electric motor and self-charging hybrid system. Together they deliver a combined 215 total system horsepower and a preliminary estimate of 44 mpg in combined driving.

An all-new engine, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder incorporates fast-burn combustion technology that makes it one of the most thermally efficient engines ever offered in a Lexus. The result is more power without increasing emissions or fuel consumption. Various methods were used to achieve such impressive results including straight intake ports, increased valve angles and laser-clad valve seats. A variable capacity oil pump, multihole injectors, VVTi-E on the intake valves and a variable cooling system also contribute to the engine’s impressive heat and combustion management.

Overall drivability of the ES 300h has been improved thanks to a more sophisticated hybrid system control computer that is better able to mimic the feel and power delivery of a standard gas engine. An all- new nickel metal hydride battery is smaller than before which allows it to be mounted underneath the back seat so it doesn’t infringe on trunk space.

Unparalleled Safety Comes Standard

One element of the ES that hasn’t been radically transformed is its dedication to safety. All versions of the seventh-generation ES feature the new Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard equipment. Already one of the most sophisticated systems of its kind, LSS+ 2.0 adds new features that further expand its capabilities.

Lexus ES Headlight

One such feature is daytime bicyclist detection which is part of the comprehensive Pre-Collision System (PCS). Already designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian, the PCS system’s ability to potentially detect a bicyclist addresses a common accident scenario. PCS has also been enhanced to help better detect a pedestrian at night by increasing the radar’s sensitivity and dynamic range.

Technology That Connects and Simplifies

Staying connected has never been so important to ES owners, so there are now multiple ways to engage with technology in a safe and convenient manner. For example, the seventh-generation ES is the first Lexus product to offer Apple CarPlayTM phone functionality, enabling drivers to control their iPhones® through the dashboard display screen or with Siri Eyes Free® voice control.

Lexus ES Carplay

The ES is also Amazon Alexa®-enabled, so drivers can use natural language commands to control a variety of functions. That functionality includes car-to-home and home-to-car commands, so owners who have Alexa enabled devices in their home can interact with their ES before they ever get behind the wheel.

On board Wi-fi powered by Verizon is also available on the ES as part of an optional navigation system that includes an easy-to-read 12.3-inch wide dashboard display. Along with its on-board data set, the navigation system is also capable of receiving over-the-air updates for improved routing and the latest Points of Interest (POIs). Models without navigation will use an 8-inch display and all interactions will be controlled through the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) trackpad.

The Next Chapter of ES

When it goes on sale in September, the 2019 Lexus ES will usher in a new era for one of the brand’s most popular models. Much like the flagship LS, the new ES sedan addresses the need to engage a broader range of customers. It delivers everything that traditional Lexus buyers expect along with elements that will draw in those who haven’t considered the brand before. Bolder styling, more dynamic performance, unique cabin materials and the latest technology add a chapter to the ES story that hasn’t been told, but that all changes in 2018.

Lexus ES Specs

Comments
spwolf
That 2.5l is state of the art engine, it does not matter if it got shown 2 days before in Avalon. Heck I am surprised that they made it different from engine in Camry but I guess that does not matter anymore? It has to be all new engine? I mean thats funny.
The thing is the word "brand new" kept popping out in the press release. Brand new with respect to what? With respect to the outgoing ES, sure, but that can't be more obvious. When using the Camry as a reference, that A25A is a year old. For a brief moment I did think there is something new given the "ES260" name. But then I read on and it says the engine has 38% thermal efficiency (down from 40%) and got even more confused. Did they somehow downgrade the engine? Or is it a typo? They did nothing to clarify that the ES260 is for Chinese domestic market only and that it is identical to the ES250. Then we had a bad selection of pictures like showing a generic brake disk and spent no effort even adding brief descriptions of each picture in the official photo gallery.

Seriously, their press release looks like a last-minute effort. The PR people certainly weren't doing their homework. It is a very poor job.
^Is that brown plastic on the center console?
R
  • R
    RAL
  • April 25, 2018
ssun30
The thing is the word "brand new" kept popping out in the press release. Brand new with respect to what? With respect to the outgoing ES, sure, but that can't be more obvious.
Of course it is brand new with respect to Lexus and ES... and also, it is not the same as in Camry, where it is available for 6 months or so :)... it is actually 7hp stronger, it uses more battery power, not sure if battery is also larger... same as with Avalon.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • April 25, 2018
Gecko
^Is that brown plastic on the center console?
I noticed that too ... I think you are right.
RAL
I noticed that too ... I think you are right.
Is it a base-trim car? Even fake wood could look better...
K
RAL
I noticed that too ... I think you are right.
As much as I like the design and the overall car in isolation, no way Lexus thinks this can stand a chance against the big players of the segment. I expect very aggressive pricing.
spwolf
- I have seen every Avalon review there is, almost every single one says it is class leading vehicle. So it has some torque steer with 300hp engine, so what? So do NX and RX and rest of the best selling Toyota/Lexus lineup - obviously customers dont think it is a big deal, and Avalon/ES are supposedly much better than those vehicles dynamically.

So engine introduced few days earlier in Avalon than in ES means that Toyota is leading and Lexus is following? Cmn, be realistic. Porsche uses VW engines. Audi uses VW engines that cheap Skoda uses. 3 and 5 and 7 series share engines. Mercedes uses Renault engines that Renault puts in $10k Clio.

That 2.5l is state of the art engine, it does not matter if it got shown 2 days before in Avalon. Heck I am surprised that they made it different from engine in Camry but I guess that does not matter anymore? It has to be all new engine? I mean thats funny.
We can agree to disagree about torque steer being a problem. US media hates it and so do many consumers, so the car will most likely be reviewed as dynamically inferior to competitors and even GS. It is what it is.

I have no problem with Lexus using Toyota engines and of course I understand the business case for shared engines across a wide array of vehicles. However,
Camry debuted TNGA-K
Camry debuted A25A-FKS
Camry debuted 2GR-FKS in a sedan
Camry debuted 2.5L THS II
Avalon debuted CarPlay
Avalon debuted minor revision of THS II with 7 more horsepower
...ES just showed up using all the Toyota hardware we've already seen

It would have looked better if they had at least staged the ES reveal before the Avalon to make it seem like something was sacred for Lexus. Considering the situation with GS, the optics of this are just bad for a "premium" brand. Adding insult to injury was the continued use of "new" in their press release and teaser materials setting expectations that the product didn't deliver on for the reasons I noted above.
KOHIPEET
You see, I doubt that. If a new GS is in development, then why release the ES in Europe? Only to have the IS, the ES and the new GS in a few years time, on a shrinking, extremely competitive market.

Unless Lexus wants to establish a brand new segment between the GS and the IS but this, I think is even less likely. (perhaps they'll price it just slightly above the IS but that would cannibalize IS' sales)

If they want to succeed in this segment (success meaning sales at least in ballpark with the other manufacturer's) they need to have another, more powerfull híbrid.
It's pretty obvious what they are doing, it's that simple :
- The ES is a replacement for the GS only in the markets that were get GS only - like Europe, Japan .. etc -
- The new generation GS is under development - by the way Toyota already developed a mid-size GA-L luxury sedan, which is the ALL-NEW Crown - the new GS testing is already done since it will be basically a re-skinned Crown.
- The countries that will get the new GS are only the countries that receive ES & GS together, like US.

KOHIPEET
You see, I doubt that. If a new GS is in development, then why release the ES in Europe? Only to have the IS, the ES and the new GS in a few years time, on a shrinking, extremely competitive market.

Unless Lexus wants to establish a brand new segment between the GS and the IS but this, I think is even less likely. (perhaps they'll price it just slightly above the IS but that would cannibalize IS' sales)

If they want to succeed in this segment (success meaning sales at least in ballpark with the other manufacturer's) they need to have another, more powerfull híbrid.
It's pretty obvious what they are doing, it's that simple :
- The ES is a replacement for the GS only in the markets that were get GS only - like Europe, Japan .. etc -
- The new generation GS is under development - by the way Toyota already developed a mid-size GA-L luxury sedan, which is the ALL-NEW Crown - the new GS testing is already done since it will be basically a re-skinned Crown.
- The countries that will get the new GS are only the countries that receive ES & GS together, like US.

Outside is OK, inside is a disappointment to me. Why make the dash look like the old RX?? And cheap looking door panels. Where the interior dor releases looked fresh and artistic on the LC, these just look, well, cheap. Also, my most hated "feature" on my RC is the touchpad, and they put it in the ES. Sad face. My opinion of course.
I would rather have the Avalon with the cognac interior.
K
Madi
It's pretty obvious what they are doing, it's that simple :
- The ES is a replacement for the GS only in the markets that were get GS only - like Europe, Japan .. etc -
- The new generation GS is under development - by the way Toyota already developed a mid-size GA-L luxury sedan, which is the ALL-NEW Crown - the new GS testing is already done since it will be basically a re-skinned Crown.
- The countries that will get the new GS are only the countries that receive ES & GS together, like US.

So you're suggesting, that the new GS won't make it to Europe? They might as well abandon the entire segment in Europe alltogether.
K
Madi
It's pretty obvious what they are doing, it's that simple :
- The ES is a replacement for the GS only in the markets that were get GS only - like Europe, Japan .. etc -
- The new generation GS is under development - by the way Toyota already developed a mid-size GA-L luxury sedan, which is the ALL-NEW Crown - the new GS testing is already done since it will be basically a re-skinned Crown.
- The countries that will get the new GS are only the countries that receive ES & GS together, like US.

So you're suggesting, that the new GS won't make it to Europe? They might as well abandon the entire segment in Europe alltogether.
KOHIPEET
So you're suggesting, that the new GS won't make it to Europe? They might as well abandon the entire segment in Europe alltogether.
Yes, unfortunately, in terms of European market, the GS will replaced by the ES
Joaquin Ruhi
Is this the Sunlight Green grandiosely described as "replicating the color of ocean water brightened by the sun"? Looks more like the Ginger Ale Metallic recently offered on a number of Fords in North America or, worse, the widely derided Desert Sage (6U3) hue offered on the Lexus IS for the 2006-08 model years.
As always with Lexus press photos, wait to see the thing in person. From this photo it might be really cool in full sunlight and it might be really dumb. It's hard to tell.

emptystreets130
The interior is a big disappointment. To me it looks like a cross with the last generation RX and the current generation RX. It doesn't scream luxury with all the "white space" in certain area. The GS has a amazing interior.
The GS also starts at $10,000 more. That buys a lot of nicer interior parts.
Joaquin Ruhi
[​IMG]

Is this the Sunlight Green grandiosely described as "replicating the color of ocean water brightened by the sun"? Looks more like the Ginger Ale Metallic recently offered on a number of Fords in North America or, worse, the widely derided Desert Sage (6U3) hue offered on the Lexus IS for the 2006-08 model years.

My favorite part of the 2019 ES release is this awesome color! I hope the RC get's this option.
Desert Sage is personally one of my all time favorites. (not my car below)

L
That green exterior colour with the brown and tan interior dripping with (I assume) bamboo! Me likey!
ES looks great, dashboard leaves room for the imagination to desire but the exterior really leads me on to believe it should be more than it is, which is an ES. If pricing doesn't really change, this car would be a great deal and sell really well.
Gecko
^Is that brown plastic on the center console?
I think it matches the wood color or something... or at least with that wood it was brownish and with F-Sport it was silverish.
Gecko
We can agree to disagree about torque steer being a problem. US media hates it and so do many consumers, so the car will most likely be reviewed as dynamically inferior to competitors and even GS. It is what it is.

I have no problem with Lexus using Toyota engines and of course I understand the business case for shared engines across a wide array of vehicles. However,
Camry debuted TNGA-K
Camry debuted A25A-FKS
Camry debuted 2GR-FKS in a sedan
Camry debuted 2.5L THS II
Avalon debuted CarPlay
Avalon debuted minor revision of THS II with 7 more horsepower
...ES just showed up using all the Toyota hardware we've already seen

It would have looked better if they had at least staged the ES reveal before the Avalon to make it seem like something was sacred for Lexus. Considering the situation with GS, the optics of this are just bad for a "premium" brand. Adding insult to injury was the continued use of "new" in their press release and teaser materials setting expectations that the product didn't deliver on for the reasons I noted above.
As to the torque steer, of course it will be inferior to "even GS". GS is great handling car, of course ES will be inferior. I am saying it means little to customers, just like GS handling better than 5 series meant very little to GS.

Why would it look better or worse? Camry was introduced first, and as such it got those engines first. Avalon got introduced 2 months before ES, so it "got" those few things 2 months earlier than ES.

Just like LS being introduced earlier means ES "gets" CarPlay sooner than it. Idea that Toyota should have delayed CarPlay and Camry and Avalon so LS and ES get it first is silly.
KOHIPEET
So you're suggesting, that the new GS won't make it to Europe? They might as well abandon the entire segment in Europe alltogether.
By now it's pretty much clear that the sole reason why current GS got canceled in Europe is poor sales on a global scale. Europe just happened to have the tiniest sales numbers. New ES will get to keep the same spot in the lineup as it has now which is discount premium midsize car so it's true competition in Europe will be IS300h. That is unless they do something weird with the packaging to keep the price difference at bigger spread. But I do expect to see ES300h and IS300h at the same price level in EU.

But I do have a question: Why they didn't include the touchpad from UX? It had clever scrollers on the side for volume and tracking, it was a step in right direction.
mediumhot
By now it's pretty much clear that the sole reason why current GS got canceled in Europe is poor sales on a global scale. Europe just happened to have the tiniest sales numbers. New ES will get to keep the same spot in the lineup as it has now which is discount premium midsize car so it's true competition in Europe will be IS300h. That is unless they do something weird with the packaging to keep the price difference at bigger spread. But I do expect to see ES300h and IS300h at the same price level in EU.

I also have a question: Why they didn't include the touchpad from UX? It had clever scrollers on the side for volume and tracking, it was a step in right direction.

Probably the same reason as the LS500 and LF-FC concept. The UX is most likely finalized after the ES which make the features and techs more advanced than the ES.
  • GTG
    GTG
  • April 25, 2018
The green looks nice , but the red is flawless Did anyone see or know if the car comes with a red leather option ?
GTG
The green looks nice , but the red is flawless Did anyone see or know if the car comes with a red leather option ?
there is red leather in Chinese press vehicle but I am not sure if it will be in all markets.
Airplane
Probably the same reason as the LS500 and the LF-FC concept. The UX is most likely finalized after the ES which make some of the features and techs more advanced than the ES.
That is the only conclusion that's reasonable.
  • GTG
    GTG
  • April 25, 2018
spwolf
there is red leather in Chinese press vehicle but I am not sure if it will be in all markets.
Thanks man , it’s coming to The US one day , let’s hope .
The new ES is almost spot on the rendering photo that went around awhile ago. The rendering looked like the last gen Camry I wasn't feeling it as much but the final product ES looks good and will sell well. I'm just waiting on the new GS
My first Lexus was a brand new 07 Es350 even thou I have graduated to the GS its nice to see the new ES. I love the ques taken from the new LS and put in the ES with the ML speaker on the door looks just like that glass cut out on the LS interior door. But I did notice something I seen ES250 on the back, I wonder what the engine options are for the new ES....
Ok I just read the press release I see the new 4 cylinder engine I'm surprised its not turbo. Also that's a big increase in power for the v6 engine just like the Camry over 300hp
Well, it has been quite an 18-month wait since admin Mike was told about this car in 2016. It is a good improvement over the XV60, but not a fitting E-class or 5-Series competitor. I look forward to watching how the European market place responds to it and if it justifies the dumping a 25-year old nameplate, instead of implementing kaizen ACROSS the model range.

Excuse my negativity, but this does NOT bridge the GAP between the IS and LS as needed. A cynical marketing exercise nonetheless and barely works as a tempoary placeholder. Not everyone is a car enthusiast, but plenty of those non car enthusiasts can tell the difference in some cases and will move to the next brand that offers a product that is a direct alternative to the midsizers XF/A6/5er/E from Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.

My "aunt", a successful medical supply business owner leased an ES350 in February 2013 and quickly replaced it with a 2014 GS450h within 1 year for some rather . She had previously driven a W211 E-class and didn't want anything too big like an S-Class or LS. The reasons she gave choosing a GS then, was her husband (pediatric specialist) surprised her with the wrong car for her birthday and the GS fit what she wanted more.

This is someone who I met in February 2006, that day being driven up to my house in her realtor's 2005/06 ES330 to spend the night at my house (thousands of miles from Morristown, NJ home). She went with a 2016 Porsche, as Lexus does not make a true Cayenne competitor and she did not like the 2016 GS facelift. Are Lexus willing to lose people like that, over and over?

Anyway, I do look forward to at least writing about the new ES in August or September at earliest. Expect what happened to the SC to happen with GS. "GA-L II" might be the basis of that possibly. On its own, the new ES is a fair offering and damn well better than a Buick (competitively). Still, it isn't good when an XSE/Sportivo Camry looks sportier than a larger luxury F-Sport model.

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