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
ssun30
Remember people just want a body kit on their 320i to pretend they had a M3. So Lexus listen: don't lock people out of interior options when they just want a body kit and bigger wheels!
Do not know if car manufacturers can be blamed for this, but it is still sad that customers/consumers are so ignorant.
Also, I talked to some ES buyers to see how they feel about the death of the GS, and I am shocked.

Over half of them responded that they actually want a GS. Remember most of these people are middle-age business people who want a comfortable car for company use, i.e. not the intended buyer demographic of the GS. But from their response the thought process really makes sense to me: they are attracted by the IS due to its aggressive looks, but they want something bigger. So they checked on the GS and the ES, and their consensus is that the GS is the proper luxury car they actally want; the ES just doesn't "feel" or "look" right. What happens next is shockingly similar to what happens in the U.S., that the dealership doesn't want to sell the GS and persuade buyers to go for the ES by offering incentives that makes the GS totally unattractive.

Why this happens is really, really weird. Is it because dealers make less money per sale from an ES than from a GS? Is Lexus aware its dealers are doing this? If it wasn't then it's getting a very wrong message: that GS sales are bad not because people don't want one, but that they can't buy one.

You guys may know I've always been an ES loyalist and don't like the GS (while admitting it's the better car). Now I have some second thoughts about the decision to buy the new ES300h. I know it's a very safe decision and my business depends on it. But there is always that inner voice that screams "F it, I love cars, I've driven enough boring cars, it's time to get that GS-F".
Levi
Do not know if car manufacturers can be blamed for this, but it is still sad that customers/consumers are so ignorant and/or superficial.
There's nothing wrong about this from the manufacturer's perspective. It's a closed cycle: the M3 attracts people to buy the regular 3 series, BMW give them the instant gratification with that M-sport add-on, when those people grow older and accumulate wealth some will eventually buy a proper M3.

As for consumers themselves, it's a complicated matter and I won't judge them for this.
ssun30
So they checked on the GS and the ES, and their consensus is that the GS is the proper luxury car they actally want; the ES just doesn't "feel" or "look" right. What happens next is shockingly similar to what happens in the U.S., that the dealership doesn't want to sell the GS and persuade buyers to go for the ES by offering incentives that makes the GS totally unattractive.

Why this happens is really, really weird. Is it because dealers make less money per sale from an ES than from a GS? Is Lexus aware its dealers are doing this? If it wasn't then it's getting a very wrong message: that GS sales are bad not because people don't want one, but that they can't buy one.

You guys may know I've always been an ES loyalist and don't like the GS (while admitting it's the better car). Now I have some second thoughts about the decision to buy the new ES300h. I know it's a very safe decision and my business depends on it. But there is always that inner voice that screams "F it, I love cars, I've driven enough boring cars, it's time to get that GS-F".
It is not really true though... We never had ES in Europe and still "nobody" bought GS. Everyone "wants" GS, but they dont want to pay for it over competition. It has very little to do with ES itself.

So obviously when you look at old ES and GS next to each other, it is pretty obvious that GS is much superior car... it looks better and interior is a lot better (even if boring), it is very high quality.

But then you look at the price and for $10k difference it is not worth it, or in the case of Europe, you get base E/A6/5 with 2.0d and much cheaper price.
spwolf
We never had ES in Europe and still "nobody" bought GS. Everyone "wants" GS, but they dont want to pay for it over competition. It has very little to do with ES itself.
sad, but very true.
ssun30
I just came back from the Beijing Motor Show to share something about the new ES.

Well, there really is not a lot to say, but a lot to rant. I didn't even take any pictures of it, we saw all of them online. They only show the exterior and don't allow interior visits, so it's really hard to add any details.

Overall I am deeply disappointed with the ES launch and their overall marketing effort. To begin with, their booth is very, very small. It's not even half the size of Infiniti and Acura's, so there's no point even comparing it to BBA. As a result, they are not even displaying all their models, no GS or GX is predictable since they are on their way out. There is no RC; there is a white LC which certainly isn't the best color to show in a heavily lit hall, and the LC is at a corner that people easily miss. It seems they didn't understand that sports cars are what attract people to visit them in the first place. By comparison, Mercedes has their 4-time F1 champion car right at the entrance; Alfa Romeo has the perennial last-row finisher Sauber F1 car (which the general public don't know, they only know they do F1); Audi has the carbon fibre grey R8 V10 Plus and an absolutely gorgeous lemon green RS4 Avant (they even sell it here!), not to mention a full row of M cars, starting from 1 all the way up to 6, in sedan and crossover flavors, plus a M760 V12, at the front row of the BMW booth. Their booth is bland and barren. They didn't show a structural blue LC or their perhaps only interesting sedan, the GS-F. It makes every Lexus owner embarrassed.

Also, no UX? Did they forget that crossovers are money printers? Speaking of money printers, they even passed on the RX-L. Apparently they think it's okay to to let Acura pick up all that free money.

And our hero ES, an ES260 F-Sport and an ES300h, are tucked in a corner no one can see, with no effort showing what's new and what's cool about them. Their staff don't even know the fuel economy and total system horsepower of the hybrid, because Lexus didn't give them any technical details. We know more by reading online. Yes, they took loads of pre-orders because to be honest, people who bothered visiting their booth are there to pre-order an ES. Their goal is very clear here: to sell the ES.

And of course they show the LS350 Executive Edition so they can perhaps milk more money by convincing some ES buyers to upgrade. It's an embarrassing product, while BBA are showing their best: the Maybach, the M760 V12, the plug-in A8. They don't show the 500h because apparently they are afraid its price tag will scare away ES buyers. Let me say this again: they don't show their flagship because they are afraid luxury car buyers can't afford it.

Now onto the positives:
>>They are taking loads of pre-orders. This thing will sell in record numbers. Lexus buyers are so confident in the brand that they buy them without even touching the interior.
>>Chinese buyers are almost 100% positive with the spindle grille. Nobody at the booth said "OMG it looks like the Predator I'm so scared!". They buy Lexus for the looks.
>>Their buyer demographic is very young. The IS has a lot of potential if the next generation is executed successfully. They need a cheaper variant against the likes of C200 and 320i, a hybrid to take advantage of their highly successful marketing campaign, as well as an IS-F to attract people to buy F-sport add-ons (that's how AMG/RS/M works). The looks department of current-gen is absolutely bang on; young people really want one, but the lack of a more accessible 200 or 260 variant stops them from buying it. Make it a look like a baby LC sedan with a better pricing structure and they have a 3 series killer.
>>The F-Sport has a lot of potential as well, again Lexus has the sportiest looks period, and F-Sport adds even more "WOW I want that" factor. Remember people just want a body kit on their 320i to pretend they had a M3. So Lexus listen: don't lock people out of interior options when they just want a body kit and bigger wheels! It is the No.1 reason people don't buy the upgrade. People want a good looking car without having to be surrounded by flimsy plastic (the interior quality of the IS F-Sport is abysmal).

P.S. Pre-order starts now and delivery will begin in August.
P.P.S. It's funny how almost every visitor mentioned "260" is a better name than "250" (a pejorative word meaning "dumb").
Bam! You got it. Winna winna chicken dinner. Honestly summed it up so well. You're honestly right about BMW and especially Mercedes-Benz (AMG and of course F1 :grinning:)

And HEY HEY HEY HEY OH HEY, SAUBER ISN'T THE WORST CAR GRRRRR. :mad:WILLIAMS IS DOING THE WORST RIGHT NOW. Let's talk F1 sometime! ;)
F1 Silver Arrows
Another excellent point. I'll be honest, the dealers are also at fault here too. It seems like they think that excessive ES advertising = sales, whereas it is slowly destroying other models. The fact that they boast that the ES has more legroom than the LS, it shows how f'ed up Lexus (and to a greater extent Toyota) is right now.
these things have nothing to do with dealers at all. When you have a buyer that has $60k to spend, you down show him ES... When you have a buyer with $40k, then you cant show him GS either. Value oriented buyer with $45k will easily take 2019 ES350 F-Sport over base GS350, with a lot more equipment and interior thats not so much of an difference anymore.

When it comes to incentives for instance, it is Lexus that offers them, not dealers. So Lexus likely does not want to lose money on GS, they dont have to unlike for instance Infiniti that has to discount Q50 because they have nothing else to sell.

I cant stress this enough, but Europe and Japan clearly show that ES is not a reason for lower GS sales.
spwolf
these things have nothing to do with dealers at all. When you have a buyer that has $60k to spend, you down show him ES... When you have a buyer with $40k, then you cant show him GS either......
That's why I didn't mention anything in regards to money and I only said advertising. When was the last time you saw the GS being advertised? Either it being dealers or corporate, the GS has no time under the spotlight whatsoever.
F1 Silver Arrows
That's why I didn't mention anything in regards to money and I only said advertising. When was the last time you saw the GS being advertised? Either it being dealers or corporate, the GS has no time under the spotlight whatsoever.
Thats also based on its market performance... cars that sell well get more marketing. Marketing is not really a problem, just the car is not that desirable in current market at current prices.

There is no silver bullet for GS but main thing for this thread is that it has nothing to do with ES really.
spwolf
Thats also based on its market performance... cars that sell well get more marketing. Marketing is not really a problem, just the car is not that desirable in current market at current prices.

There is no silver bullet for GS but main thing for this thread is that it has nothing to do with ES really.
The GS got squeezed. With the Germans the cars and classes are easily differentiated by size..
3/5/7 etc..

Here Lexus has a GS that's more than an ES but smaller. The ES is an easy sell the GS is not for a salesperson. They will just try to sell an ES without some sort of kick back or incentive.

It's not just the GS though. At least the GS sold well some years. The Japanese branded RLX and Q70 always sold poorly. The Germans dominate with the 5/E and now A6. Caddy struggles here too with the CtS.

It will be interesting to see how this ES is marketed and how the public welcomes it now that it's turned a corner. I'm very curious on pricing.

I'm really shocked AWD wasn't an option.
ssun30
It's a closed cycle: the M3 attracts people to buy the regular 3 series, BMW give them the instant gratification with that M-sport add-on, when those people grow older and accumulate wealth some will eventually buy a proper M3.
It is theory. The M3 attracts to stay loyal to the company, but not sure how many older people accumulate wealth and later buy it. Either they had it, or they won't.


mikeavelli
The GS got squeezed. With the Germans the cars and classes are easily differentiated by size..
3/5/7 etc..

Here Lexus has a GS that's more than an ES but smaller. The ES is an easy sell the GS is not for a salesperson. They will just try to sell an ES without some sort of kick back or incentive.

It's not just the GS though. At least the GS sold well some years. The Japanese branded RLX and Q70 always sold poorly. The Germans dominate with the 5/E and now A6. Caddy struggles here too with the CtS.

It will be interesting to see how this ES is marketed and how the public welcomes it now that it's turned a corner. I'm very curious on pricing.

I'm really shocked AWD wasn't an option.
ES might do very well in Europe, if Lexus markets the car specially in countries other than Germany. Lack of AWD is bad, from a marketing perspective, especially in Switzerland and northern countries.
spwolf
It is not really true though... We never had ES in Europe and still "nobody" bought GS. Everyone "wants" GS, but they dont want to pay for it over competition. It has very little to do with ES itself.

So obviously when you look at old ES and GS next to each other, it is pretty obvious that GS is much superior car... it looks better and interior is a lot better (even if boring), it is very high quality.

But then you look at the price and for $10k difference it is not worth it, or in the case of Europe, you get base E/A6/5 with 2.0d and much cheaper price.
Well it doesn't make any difference now does it? The GS did not undercut its competition in price which is what a Lexus vehicle typically needs due to weaker brand image. So GS was never given a fair chance by Lexus itself.

On the other hand, none of those people who wanted a GS has any complaint about the new ES. They said it looks right and feels right unlike the outgoing XV60. So no need to mourn the death of GS too much.
I think this post from TheNerdyPotato on the separate Toyota & Lexus Future Powertrain Discussion thread is also relevant here:

TheNerdyPotato
Anyone remember the Yaris Hybrid R concept from about 5 years ago? That was a sick little concept car. Too bad they never actually built one for production.

https://newsroom.toyota.eu/toyota-yaris-hybrid-r-420hp-hybrid-powertrain-details-revealed/

I guess the tech is still in development in some form or another. E-Four AWD is coming, and was mentioned in the OP's linked article.

Speaking of which, the OP article states that E-Four will feature 30% more torque than the current systems. A quick search on Google says that the Prius AWD has a 5kW rear axle motor while the larger Highlander features a 50kW motor. Both of those are a far cry from the dual 60HP/45kW motors on the HybridR.

I've seen a statement somewhere recently that the Avalon/ES won't be getting AWD "yet." Perhaps, it'll be on the hybrid versions. Perhaps, they'll make a HybridR-inspired version of the V6, which could be a beast with the upgraded rear axle motors and KERS-style regenerative braking.
Toyota has touted its "multiple hybrid" (some fuel economy-oriented, others geared more towards performance) strategy going forward, with the European 3rd-gen Auris clearly an example of this. Outside North America, Lexus GS buyers have had a choice of an economical GS 300h or a performance GS 450h.

My point? If, indeed, ES winds up replacing the full GS line, we may well see an ES 450h with a naturally-aspirated V6 hybrid powertrain (be it the current 2GR-FXS from the RX 450h or something new, derived from the new VxxA V6), with enthusiast-friendly tricks such as the E-Four AWD and the Direct Shift CVT.
spwolf
It is not really true though... We never had ES in Europe and still "nobody" bought GS. Everyone "wants" GS, but they dont want to pay for it over competition. It has very little to do with ES itself.

But then you look at the price and for $10k difference it is not worth it, or in the case of Europe, you get base E/A6/5 with 2.0d and much cheaper price.
This is not true at all in N.A. Buyers come into a dealership wanting GS and are sold into an ES for the reasons @ssun30 mentions. Dealers don't stock many GSs, keep plenty of ESs in popular color combinations and then highlight how ES is "basically the same car for $10k less." I can only speak for N.A. market, but this is exactly how it happens/happened 85% of the time.

It is the ES that killed the GS, plain and simple. No questions asked.
Joaquin Ruhi
My point? If, indeed, ES winds up replacing the full GS line, we may well see an ES 450h with a naturally-aspirated V6 hybrid powertrain (be it the current 2GR-FXS from the RX 450h or a new variant of the V35A V6 engine family), with enthusiast-friendly tricks such as E-Four AWD and Direct Shift CVT.
One problem with E-Four on their current hybrid vehicles is that it's always part-time AWD. With so little energy storage in the HV battery the ICE has to work hard to keep the rear motor powered. So most of the time the 450h will drive exactly like a FWD vehicle, with the controlling unit only turning on E-Four operation when slip is detected. It's sufficient for driving in low grip conditions, but not a good fit for performance applications.

Part of the reason why I hate E-Four is how much weight and complexity it adds to solve a very simple problem. I never understand why they did not put a conventional transaxle after the output shaft of the hybrid system to get AWD. They said it eliminates the mechanical link between the axles and reduces weight, except it doesn't. They still need an electrical link and an extra set of power control electronics, as well as a very oversized rear motor that is dead weight most of the time.
Gecko
This is not true at all in N.A. Buyers come into a dealership wanting GS and are sold into an ES for the reasons @ssun30 mentions. Dealers don't stock many GSs, keep plenty of ESs in popular color combinations and then highlight how ES is "basically the same car for $10k less." Buyer feels like they are getting a value and leave with an ES. I can only speak for N.A. market, but this is exactly how it happens/happened 85% of the time - I have worked in dealers and at the OEM level for Lexus so I have seen this with my own two eyes.

It is the ES that killed the GS, plain and simple. No questions asked.
Ergh, again, we have never had ES in Japan and in whole of EU, and GS sales are not any better.

Sure, customers see both cars and see no reason to pay extra $10k for GS? Would they buy GS if ES didnt exist? They mostly would not... just like EU and Japan customers are simply not buying GS, despite lack of ES.

Last year there were 3 months of GS in stock in your average Lexus dealer, so I am not sure how many do you think they should stock?
spwolf
Sure, customers see both cars and see no reason to pay extra $10k for GS? Would they buy GS if ES didnt exist? They mostly would not... just like EU and Japan customers are simply not buying GS, despite lack of ES.
I cannot speak to pricing and packaging in other parts of the world, but I know that for a long time, Lexus has sent larger than necessary, and thus expensive, engine options to global markets where E-Class, 5er and A6 offer 2.0L diesels and are cheaper. In addition, Lexus 2.0T has never been seen as cutting edge or very efficient in markets where it does exist. IMO, Lexus has just never been able to figure out how to correctly package or position GS in relation to ES. At the same time, Lexus has made the conscious decision to grow the ES from being a small entry level car to now being larger than the LS... most directly impacting GS from a price and size perspective.

Perhaps this new ES will give them the scale and packaging options to make it a more appealing global product - something GS always struggled with.

But to your original point, I can tell you that in North America, if ES did not exist, GS would probably sell reliably 2k-4k units per month - it is the car consumers actually want more. I stand by that 100%.
L
I don't know if it is just me but every time I see the rear of the 2019 Lexus ES it reminds me of mix of 2011 to 2014 Hyundai Sonata and of the 2013 Lexus GS rear.
Gecko
But to your original point, I can tell you that in North America, if ES did not exist, GS would probably sell reliably 2k-4k units per month - it is the car consumers actually want more. I stand by that 100%.
I completely disagree with GS selling ES volume, it is $10k more expensive vehicle, it would not sell anywhere as close so 6x more than today.

There is no conspiracy against GS. It just got old and outdated and it seems to be too expensive for Lexus to produce so it does not make sense for them to push it when ES performs better ($10k incentives or lease deals like Q50 has).

Again, proof is in the pudding. GS internationally has pretty good powertrains, as we can sell with NX and RX selling like crazy.
spwolf
I completely disagree with GS selling ES volume, it is $10k more expensive vehicle, it would not sell anywhere as close as 6x more than today.

.
In its best years the GS sold 30k plus units here... the best year of the 4GS was right under 24k units its first year. Ironcially worldwide global GS sales were never better.

I think if Lexus FOCUSED on the GS if they didn't have an ES things would be totally different. Alas Lexus always had the ES and the ES has always sold like gangbusters since 1992 after the ES 250...
A WardsAuto report from the 7ES California unveiling includes these interesting insights and bits of information:

...Although the U.S. is the No.1 Lexus market worldwide with sales of 305,132 vehicles in 2017, more ES sedans are sold in China than anywhere else. Last year, ES deliveries totaled 60,000 units there, about 10,000 more than in the U.S., accounting for 45% of the 132,000 Lexus vehicles sold in China...

Also available is a new-generation hybrid powertrain, expected to increase penetration from the current 10% as Lexus continues with an affordable-pricing strategy that “takes some of the premium out” of its hybrid models. That game plan has worked to boost hybrid sales of the RX 33.3% and NX 167.8% in the first quarter, according to Wards Intelligence data...

The new model also represents the latest volley in an effort to lower the average age of Lexus owners. Currently, the average age of ES buyers is 67.

“With all our products we try to focus on that,” (Lexus USA vice-president of marketing Cooper) Ericksen says, pointing to the addition of F Sport packages on several models in the lineup. “Every car that we introduce, we’re trying to have a version that is more appealing to a younger customer. We feel based on the styling, technology and driving dynamics of that car that it’s going to bring a little bit of a new customer into the ES – and that is going to be a younger customer to the ES line”

Take rates on F Sport models reach as high as 95% on the RC coupe, Ericksen says. About 40% of IS sedan buyers opt for the F Sport, and initial estimates are as many as 20% of ES sales could go to the performance model...

The changeover to the new model should slow ES sales this year to about 45,000, he says, but volume is expected to bounce back in 2019 with full-year availability of the new model. Through the first quarter, ES sales totaled 9,263 units, down 2.6% from year-ago. Inventories of the outgoing V-6 model stood at 125 days’ supply at the end of March...
It is also completely not true with them not doing enough for GS... I mean we had GS 2.0t, GS 300, GS350, GS450h, RWD or AWD.
mikeavelli
In its best years the GS sold 30k plus units here... the best year of the 4GS was right under 24k units its first year. Ironcially worldwide global GS sales were never better.

I think if Lexus FOCUSED on the GS if they didn't have an ES things would be totally different. Alas Lexus always had the ES and the ES has always sold like gangbusters since 1992 after the ES 250...
I understand what you mean but lets look at it from this perspective - they have actually always put a lot more effort into GS, IS and LS than ES... ES is best selling vehicle and usually it is treated as a mix between cash cow and unwanted stepchild.

While ES350 has to do with Camry engine, GS always had engine with D4S, had 2.0t, had both RWD and AWD versions... also had GS300h and GS450h hybrid options.

Pricing difference is too big though - if new ES stays at similar price, then it becomes unbeatable value... GS has to change its nature completely because for $10k at current prices, it simply cant offer $10k more... for Europe and rest of the world, pricing difference is even worse due to various taxing reasons, I am pretty sure that here in eastern europe, price difference between GS300h and ES300h "will be" around $20-30k. And since ES sells well everywhere, it will sell over 200k per year, which means that economies of scale work in its favour - so it can be incentivised and they can still make money.
spwolf
It is also completely not true with them not doing enough for GS... I mean we had GS 2.0t, GS 300, GS350, GS450h, RWD or AWD.
GS200t/GS 300: Introduced too late and after a massive ad campaign making fun of competitors for offering base four cylinder engines. Not cheap enough compared to GS 350 to be a real value player. Generally considered not worth the money.

GS 350: Has had a carryover engine from 2007, lack of up-to-date technology, 2016 refresh was butchered, interior has not kept pace with rivals

GS 450h: Never once any advertising/marketing support from Lexus USA, has always been special order only, F-Sport was added late term

GS F: Shows up 4 years late lacking 150 horsepower

The best thing this car ever had going for it was a great platform. That's really it.
K
After watching the new video showing the f-sport version in pure white, I have to say, it certainly is a really desirable car. The exterior design is spot-on. However, I still stand by my opinion, that if they want a chance at success here in Europe, they'll need to introduce a more powerful hybrid powertrain.

Would building the 2 litre turbo into a new hybrid engine make sense? The system could develop around 300 hp and the petrol engine could be tuned more towards fuel efficiency while they could use a Li-Ion battery to drive the electric motors.
Gecko
GS200t/GS 300: Introduced too late and after a massive ad campaign making fun of competitors for offering base four cylinder engines. Not cheap enough compared to GS 350 to be a real value player. Generally considered not worth the money. 2.0T is not up to par with competitors.

GS 300h: I have no real context for this car - can't comment.

GS 350: Carryover engine from 2007, lack of up-to-date technology, 2016 refresh was butchered, interior has not kept pace with rivals

GS 450h: Never once any advertising/marketing support from Lexus USA, has always been special order only, F-Sport was added late term

GS F: Shows up 4 years too late and 150 horsepower short.

The best thing this car ever had going for it was a great platform. That's really it.
Hey Hey Hey, Let's not forget about the GS430. I still have my 2006 GS430. My wife drives it everyday, absolute loves it, still get's complaints on it (loaded black on black), and that V8 absolutely flies on that platform. The engine still sounds new.
Gecko
GS200t/GS 300: Introduced too late and after a massive ad campaign making fun of competitors for offering base four cylinder engines. Not cheap enough compared to GS 350 to be a real value player. Generally considered not worth the money. 2.0T is not up to par with competitors.

GS 300h: I have no real context for this car - can't comment.

GS 350: Carryover engine from 2007, lack of up-to-date technology, 2016 refresh was butchered, interior has not kept pace with rivals

GS 450h: Never once any advertising/marketing support from Lexus USA, has always been special order only, F-Sport was added late term

GS F: Shows up 4 years too late and 150 horsepower short.

The best thing this car ever had going for it was a great platform. That's really it.
And yet ES350 with Camry engine and a lot less hp sold like hot cakes... so did RX... so did NX with 2.0t, such subpar engine.

Only GS has problem selling with better version of same engines?

So once again, another proof that they invested a lot of money into GS and did not get return. Unlike with ES, which got least amount of money invested into, poorer version of those already poor engines and then sells like hot cakes.
KOHIPEET
After watching the new video showing the f-sport version in pure white, I have to say, it certainly is a really desirable car. The exterior design is spot-on. However, I still stand by my opinion, that if they want a chance at success here in Europe, they'll need to introduce a more powerful hybrid powertrain.

Would building the 2 litre turbo into a new hybrid engine make sense? The system could develop around 300 hp and the petrol engine could be tuned more towards fuel efficiency while they could use a Li-Ion battery to drive the electric motors.
I dont think they will do that due to the cost reasons. 450h was simply too expensive... but their future powertrain lineup certainly shows another all-new engine above 300h and below 500h.

Maybe if they can spread the cost across larger lineup, such as Highlander and RX, they can also make another "affordable" hybrid engine with more than 215hp?
Gecko
GS200t/GS 300: Introduced too late and after a massive ad campaign making fun of competitors for offering base four cylinder engines. Not cheap enough compared to GS 350 to be a real value player. Generally considered not worth the money. 2.0T is not up to par with competitors.

GS 300h: I have no real context for this car - can't comment.

GS 350: Carryover engine from 2007, lack of up-to-date technology, 2016 refresh was butchered, interior has not kept pace with rivals

GS 450h: Never once any advertising/marketing support from Lexus USA, has always been special order only, F-Sport was added late term

GS F: Shows up 4 years too late and 150 horsepower short.

The best thing this car ever had going for it was a great platform. That's really it.
So on point, thank you! There was no reason to allow the ES step on the toes of larger offerings generation-to-generation nor be so lazy with keeping the GS up to date. The New N cars were limited in ways, that the public saw no motivation to upgrade post refresh. Plus, new S-class and 5er surely don't help. Sales were reasonable, until facelift launched during the 8 weeks of 2015 and 2016 a steep decline.

RichieRich
Hey Hey Hey, Let's not forget about the GS430. I still have my 2006 GS430. My wife drives it everyday, absolutely loves it, still receives compliments on it (loaded black on black), and that V8 absolutely flies on that platform. The engine still sounds new.
The GS430 has no relevance to the incumbent generation GS and discussion related to its demise. Otherwise, GS460 and GS400 would be also brought up.

K
Top