Lexus ES: Sixth Generation

Lexus ES F SPORT Aimed at Younger Audience

Lexus ES F SPORT

Lexus vice-president of marketing Cooper Ericksen discussed the addition of the ES F SPORT model with David E. Zoia of WardsAuto:

“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 ES will rely heavily on value as a primary selling point, as the car is sized like a mid-size sedan but targets the entry-level luxury market — Lexus considers the Cadillac ATS, Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class as core competitors:

“In other brands you have to go to a higher price point to get that much room,” Ericksen says, pointing out the ES now offers more legroom than the larger LS sedan. “We have every indication we are going to continue to have a great conquest vehicle on our hands.”

Finally, WardsAuto breaks down global ES sales and the importance of China to the model’s success:

Viewed globally, the new ES appears even more critical to the future of the 30-year-old luxury brand, now sold in 90 countries. 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.

Comments
C
@krew Please compare the 2019 ES vs 2018 LS: design, dimensions, tech etc. and highlight the shocking difference:
  • ES has Carplay and Alexa. The LS doesn't!
  • ES has more legroom!
  • ES looks like the LS, at least from the front and side profile...
Many thanks
spwolf
@krew how was interior quality, how did it feel inside? Compared to ES, IS, GS, NX, etc? Thank you.
To be completely honest, the interiors were black and the cars were revealed outside at night -- getting a good sense of the interior was next to impossible. I did notice some pre-production materials around the steering wheel and on the doors as well.

I really liked the cabin overall -- like most of the new Lexus interiors, everything wraps around the driver and gives a real sense of occasion. The 12.3" screen impressed me, despite already seeing it in the LC & LS.

The one thing that's stuck with me? The ES F SPORT front seats are magnificent. Ample side bolsters, but still like sitting on a cloud. Immediately impressed.

Carmaker1
With that being said, I think we should try and dissolve any non-ES discussion in this thread, in order to avoid going off topic too long.
Agreed. Lexus doesn't see the ES as a GS replacement, we don't see the ES as a GS replacement. If this had been communicated up front, we could have avoided all the comparisons and appreciated the new ES for what it is.

The failures of the GS rest with the model itself and what Lexus did/didn't do to support it. Couple that with a US market that no longer interested in cars, and...

F1 Silver Arrows
In short @spwolf, my response is this. It is easy to sell and do well with an inferior car. There will be plenty of success, but they won't have an ounce of credentials. However, if they execute and honestly TRY to develop a car with the aura of specialness (is that even a word?), to work hard and stand behind their core competencies, to be sporty, yet luxurious or vise versa. To try to transcend the medium and conduct something with blood, sweat, tears and NOT through being cheap. To try to actually open their coffers and spill EVERYTHING into a car, like many manufacturers. For god's sakes, they're the most powerful manufacturer in the world. This way, not only will they get sales, not only will everyone be happy, not only will they be successful, they will also have the credentials that they're dying to get from the world and the genuine recognition from other manufacturers. It's honestly as simple as that.
@F1 Silver Arrows, you did a great job with your post -- really managed to capture the dichotomy of the ES/GS argument. The reason I quote this passage specifically is because Lexus did exactly this with the LC. All hope is not lost. :)
Thanks for all of your kind responses everyone! I value the amount of respect we have between each other and in this forum. Obviously, my slight "tirade" toward Lexus was through the culmination of feelings that we've been experiencing. I simply decided to take some time to really break down this issue. I thought it would give everyone great insight! Thanks for the love! :)

Yeah, in response to @Carmaker1, this is not something that we should ultimately give a slap on the wrist, they need to be exposed to the predicament that they've caused and not be self-absorbed into everything. I can feel for these people, because it is hard to come back out of such an issue.

To @krew, that's exactly what I want from Lexus. If they put the same effort they've did in the LC, and also LS (LS may have a few issues including the absence of the V8, but is still a great product), they would knock everything out of the park. They can afford to conduct such high levels of research and development. Even Mazda (ironically has some help from Toyota) is doing groundbreaking development in regards to their future cars. If Mazda can really push the envelope with what they can afford, Toyota can do that ten-fold (and that's probably an understatement there). I do understand the role of the accountants or I like to colloquially say "bean counters", but they need to mostly back off when it comes to these cars.

ssun30
Yes it would. Actually a turbo hybrid is the perfect combo since it hides turbo lag and improves drivability significantly.

The only downside is that a turbo ICE has lower peak thermal efficiency than a naturally aspirated one. Therefore such a hybrid system may not be optimal for fuel efficiency, but it's a HUGE step over a gas engine nonetheless.



True, that's enough ES vs GS debate for now. We have been doing this since like two years ago and repeated the same thing again and again.
Err...... why is my name highlighted?
@krew Care to explain why the ES has a longer passenger cabin than the LS? How does it have a longer legroom when the LS is 8 inches longer? I know transverse FWD platform has inherent advantage in interior space, but Lexus did waste a lot of length on that front overhang you know.

F1 Silver Arrows
Err...... why is my name highlighted?
Oops, messed up the BB code. Fixed.
I have already said Wow I think looks very good, one question why is the engine bay so exposed? A lots of wiring and pump wires etc all visible surely there will be a cover over this in the production vehicles?
ssun30
Care to explain why the ES has a longer passenger cabin than the LS? How does it have a longer legroom when the LS is 8 inches longer? I know transverse FWD platform has inherent advantage in interior space, but Lexus did waste a lot of length on that front overhang you know.
LS is about 10 inch longer overall and in wheels base. Knowing the LS has its overhangs almost as long as the ES, yet having some distance between the front wheel and the front door, it loses the 10 inch length advantage, if not more, in terms of cabin length.
Carmaker1
I am thinking like what @Gecko had said to me, certain decision making was made so belatedly, that the ES wasn't able to be developed to replace GS with AWD and stay on time.
That sounds very likely, but I'm optimistically clinging to hope that, somehow, 7ES eventually gets a well-engineered AWD option during a future model year, perhaps in conjunction with either an "ES 450h" performance hybrid or even (gasp!) an ES-F. I do note, however, ssun30's observations atop page 4 of this thread that E-Four is not a good AWD system for performance applications.

Only then will ES be a truly worthy GS replacement.

Carmaker1
With that being said, I think we should try and dissolve any non-ES discussion in this thread, in order to avoid going off topic too long.
Point taken, but I do feel that I need to post some numbers which clearly show why Lexus decided to kill GS in favor of ES. A text conversation with krew last night led me to Google "2017 global Lexus sales by model", with the first result being a page on focus2move.com.

ES was, worldwide, the 3rd best-selling Lexus vehicle in 2017. Its 133,340 units sold were only exceeded by NX (148,377) and RX (163, 646). Most notably, ES was one of only 2 Lexus lines to show increased sales globally versus 2016. (ES +8% and NX +1.4%). And GS? It was #8 out of 10 Lexus lines tallied by focus2move, trailed only by RC and LS (the latter transitioning from 4th to 5th generation during 2017). Most notably, GS reported the steepest percentage drop (a 41.3% drop from 27,770 units sold globally in 2016 to 16,304 units in 2017).

With numbers like those, it's no wonder that Lexus bean counters pulled the plug on GS.
Quick little look at the ES reveal at the Beijing Motor Show

Regarding the ES and Lexus overall, I know it may not play a huge role for most, but there are some things I do not like lately. I do not exactly know how to call these details, it is not design, because it is not really style, but still something visual and technical.

1. I have already mentioned the sloppy rear window, I prefer more upright with the flatter trunk. I know aerodynamics, but on a three-box-car, it does not look good to me.

2. I usually do not like when sedans have a small glass window behind the rear door (like Audi). I prefer the way BMW, Mercedes and Lexus do it. But in this case, unlike the yet current/soon previous ES, I do not like how the trim extends behind the door, for no reason. The new LS has a windows behind, the concept was better without.


3. I prefer when the rear door line is straight rather than curved around the wheel (like BMW for example), or cuts straight through the fender ( like Lexus GX). I can accept curved around the fender like most Lexus. On the XV60 the fender line is the same one as the door shutline. If there is some distance between the fender line and the door shutline, that is fine too, maybe even better. But here it is the worst possible execution: the door line cuts through the fender line, but instead of going through the fender arc surface till the fender edge, it stops in the middle and follows the fender arc from the wrong side. This drives me mad, same thing on the new LS.
ssun30
@krew Care to explain why the ES has a longer passenger cabin than the LS? How does it have a longer legroom when the LS is 8 inches longer? I know transverse FWD platform has inherent advantage in interior space, but Lexus did waste a lot of length on that front overhang you know.


Oops, messed up the BB code. Fixed.
LS has engine behind the axle, ES has in front, this frees up wheelbase for cabin.

But also do not just read the specs... for instance I bet LS has much more relaxed seating at the back, and much nicer angle. I am 6.1" 250lbs and I have maximum comfort in front and back of LS. There is simply no way that back seat of ES is as comfortable as in LS, the angle of seat back and bottom cushion is going to be very different. Also I bet front seats of LS take up much more space.
Joaquin Ruhi
I think this post from TheNerdyPotato on the separate Toyota & Lexus Future Powertrain Discussion thread is also relevant here:



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 a new variant of the V35A V6 engine family), with enthusiast-friendly tricks such as E-Four AWD and Direct Shift CVT.
I was curious to see how much the hypothetical "ES450h" would cost so I looked at the difference between the RX350 and RX450h and Highlander V6 vs Hybrid. Going by MSRP, the RX came with a $2,424 hybrid premium and the Highlander with a $2,595 premium. ES has a $2,810 premium to upgrade to a smaller, less powerful motor. Going from a Camry LE 4cyl to a Hybrid LE is +$3,800, which is more understandable due to 4cyl vs 4cyl.

What this brings to my attention is that, IMO, the ES has a pricing problem. Maybe it's hidden in the margins on the larger vehicles, or the V6 hybrid system is somehow less expensive than the 4cyl, but this just seems off to me.

(all prices listed in USD based on 2018 models)
Joaquin Ruhi
Point taken, but I do feel that I need to post some numbers which clearly show why Lexus decided to kill GS in favor of ES. A text conversation with krew last night led me to Google "2017 global Lexus sales by model", with the first result being a page on focus2move.com.

ES was, worldwide, the 3rd best-selling Lexus vehicle in 2017. Its 133,340 units sold were only exceeded by NX (148,377) and RX (163, 646). Most notably, ES was one of only 2 Lexus lines to show increased sales globally versus 2016. (ES +8% and NX +1.4%). And GS? It was #8 out of 10 Lexus lines tallied by focus2move, trailed only by RC and LS (the latter transitioning from 4th to 5th generation during 2017). Most notably, GS reported the steepest percentage drop (a 41.3% drop from 27,770 units sold globally in 2016 to 16,304 units in 2017).

With numbers like those, it's no wonder that Lexus bean counters pulled the plug on GS.
I am going to go step ahead and complain why is not Lexus investing even more money into ES. As you can see by those sales stats, ES is their sedan sales leader by far, and it wasnt even a worldwide vehicle... I can see ES selling over 200k worldwide and its design and features need to be priority for Lexus.

I do think that those rumors of 2.5t for ES are true, and lets hope it brings AWD with it too. It is not really for my market here in Europe, but it would be nice worldwide.

450h powertrain would be overkill for ES, especially since it would need real awd which would then bring down mpg a lot.

e-Four system with 40hp at the back is not going to change things dynamically for ES... it is useful for SUVs when starting up on icy incline and low speed snow runs so you dont get stuck, but it is not performance awd.
TheNerdyPotato
I was curious to see how much the hypothetical "ES450h" would cost so I looked at the difference between the RX350 and RX450h and Highlander V6 vs Hybrid. Going by MSRP, the RX came with a $2,424 hybrid premium and the Highlander with a $2,595 premium. ES has a $2,810 premium to upgrade to a smaller, less powerful motor. Going from a Camry LE 4cyl to a Hybrid LE is +$3,800, which is more understandable due to 4cyl vs 4cyl.

What this brings to my attention is that, IMO, the ES has a pricing problem. Maybe it's hidden in the margins on the larger vehicles, or the V6 hybrid system is somehow less expensive than the 4cyl, but this just seems off to me.

(all prices listed in USD based on 2018 models)
New premium is likely going to be $1k, like in Avalon. Lexus has reduced hybrid premiums in NX, RX in past few months and Toyota has done it in new Avalon too.

They did not change ES price since new one is coming in few months.
spwolf
e-Four system with 40hp at the back is not going to change things dynamically for ES... it is useful for SUVs when starting up on icy incline and low speed snow runs so you dont get stuck, but it is not performance awd.
Agreed, which is why I brought up the old HybridR concept with 120hp on the rear axle.

spwolf
New premium is likely going to be $1k, like in Avalon. Lexus has reduced hybrid premiums in NX, RX in past few months and Toyota has done it in new Avalon too.

They did not change ES price since new one is coming in few months.
Oh, good. I hadn't kept up with it in a long time.
spwolf
I am going to go step ahead and complain why is not Lexus investing even more money into ES. As you can see by those sales stats, ES is their sedan sales leader by far, and it wasnt even a worldwide vehicle... I can see ES selling over 200k worldwide and its design and features need to be priority for Lexus.

I do think that those rumors of 2.5t for ES are true, and lets hope it brings AWD with it too. It is not really for my market here in Europe, but it would be nice worldwide.

450h powertrain would be overkill for ES, especially since it would need real awd which would then bring down mpg a lot.

e-Four system with 40hp at the back is not going to change things dynamically for ES... it is useful for SUVs when starting up on icy incline and low speed snow runs so you dont get stuck, but it is not performance awd.
ES needs AWD not for performance, but just for grip in winter. Most sold AWD CUVs are not performance oriented.
Car Fan
  • ES has Carplay and Alexa. The LS doesn't!
Well Corolla has CarPlay too? :).

I also bet that LS will actually get CarPlay sooner than ES? But they cant say that since it would make people wait for it.
krew
Lexus doesn't see the ES as a GS replacement, we don't see the ES as a GS replacement. If this had been communicated up front, we could have avoided all the comparisons and appreciated the new ES for what it is.

The failures of the GS rest with the model itself and what Lexus did/didn't do to support it. Couple that with a US market that no longer interested in cars, and...
That's what kind of annoys me about the pages of GS rage that precede this: the whole "ES will be designed to also be a GS replacement" was made up out of thin air by the Internet (and yeah, I participated, and yeah it was fun). Lexus never gave any hints that that was going to be the case, and it's pretty silly to hold them to something they never said would be the case. If I made a thread where we all decided the next IS should transform into a humanoid robot that looks like Akio Toyoda we can't very well be angry at Lexus when that doesn't happen.

The 7ES taken strictly as a new ES looks to me like another home run. I still wouldn't be surprised if they introduced some sort of AWD version a bit later (maybe at the refresh) because it's such an obvious thing for many markets (parts of the US and all of Canada and Russia). As @Levi said it doesn't need to be performance AWD, just "move the car when it's in snow" AWD.
Ian Schmidt
That's what kind of annoys me about the pages of GS rage that precede this: the whole "ES will be designed to also be a GS replacement" was made up out of thin air by the Internet (and yeah, I participated, and yeah it was fun).
There's a thin line between "the ES is replacing the GS" and "the GS is being cancelled and the ES will remain", and we all tripped over it. :joy:
With all that been said, I think currently Toyota has a better Idea of what they are aiming for in their Line up. The new corolla and Rav 4 is a testament to this.
As for Lexus IMO everything released this Year is just a placeholder. Lets put something new out there for now to keep the cash flowing in while figure out all this mess. Lets start from the RXL (why not wait for the RX redesign to build a proper RXL from scratch?) LX 2 row (Lets make more money flow in. GX owner can upgrade also) LS (even though it's new we can all agree there is something incomplete about it. Be it legroom, car play, engine name it. I still feel like there is a V8 somewhere for the LS and I hope is not just for an LSF). I actually like the new ES for what it is and not as GS replacement.

So IMO 2020 is the year to be on the lookout for when talking about significant expectation from Lexus (Tokyo 2020)
C
  • C
    CIF
  • May 2, 2018
I know this isn't adding much, but I would just like to say I never believed the GS was going to get totally cancelled. The many heated discussions over the GS being cancelled that have happened here (which has never been confirmed at all) remind me of the rumor that appeared during 4GS development that many people believed (and some still do). The famous rumor years ago that during 4GS development, Akio Toyoda wanted to cancel the GS completely. This was never fully substantiated, and even Akio Toyoda himself in an obscure interview confirmed it was never his intention. He only implied to the development team of the 4GS he considered cancelling it because initial 4GS efforts left him disappointed. That implication lit a symbolic fire under the development team, and the result was the 4GS that we actually got to market, with its class-leading chassis and excellent interior.

Throughout Toyota Motor Company's history, cancelling a model line completely has always been extremely rare. Let's look on the Lexus side. The SC was never completely cancelled. It reappeared as the 2nd gen SC, and more recently it has "reappeared" in a reimagined way as the LC. Let's be honest, the LC is the spiritual successor to the SC. The CT was never truly cancelled, as it lives on in other overseas markets. The HS is the only model that one can argue was truly cancelled. Yet on the other hand, it is also arguable that the CT is extremely similar to the HS, and that the HS possibly lives on through the CT.

This new ES is great as an ES. Love the rear seat details, the wood and leather steering wheel, and the different color options. Also did anyone else catch the Shimamoku and bamboo wood available as options? Love that some LS options have now appeared on the ES. The F-Sport interior in all black looks really bland, I agree. Also really like the exterior. I eagerly await further details in a full press release. Not surprised no new V6, looks like the TNGA workhorse V6 engine isn't ready yet. It will debut somewhere soon enough, just not now. Likely on a mid-cycle refresh, or simply some new generation. I don't get some of the criticism of the details of the car. If you're expecting an LS for ES money, that's absolutely impossible. If you expect an LS, well that already exists. For ES money though, this new ES is really excellent.

As for the GS, what will I think will happen personally with the 5GS? I think it will go on hiatus, and then reappear as a further upmarket '4-door coupe' type sedan. I think it's likely the GS will lose its traditional shape. The 3GS hinted at a '4-door coupe' look, but that model was too small, impractical, and the styling didn't fully work. If they grow the GS from 4GS size, they can make a very elegant, very unique high-end midsize prestige sedan.
I think in GS context 'cancel' meant no imminent direct replacement, no prototype spyshots. If Lexus wants to remain what it is, no one on here doubts the possibility of it returning, like the LC, but just not today, unless Lexus pulls out Acura and Infiniti strategy, which would be dumb.
bogglo
With all that been said, I think currently Toyota has a better Idea of what they are aiming for in their Line up. The new corolla and Rav 4 is a testament to this.
As for Lexus IMO everything released this Year is just a placeholder. Lets put something new out there for now to keep the cash flowing in while figure out all this mess. Lets start from the RXL (why not wait for the RX redesign to build a proper RXL from scratch?) LX 2 row (Lets make more money flow in. GX owner can upgrade also) LS (even though it's new we can all agree there is something incomplete about it. Be it legroom, car play, engine name it. I still feel like there is a V8 somewhere for the LS and I hope is not just for an LSF). I actually like the new ES for what it is and not as GS replacement.

So IMO 2020 is the year to be on the lookout for when talking about significant expectation from Lexus (Tokyo 2020)
There is no place holders, this is what we get.

I am not sure what exactly do you expect in 2020 Tokyo - 2.5 years from now? LS and LC will still be the same, just with Car Play... Maybe IS?
spwolf
There is no place holders, this is what we get.

I am not sure what exactly do you expect in 2020 Tokyo - 2.5 years from now? LS and LC will still be the same, just with Car Play... Maybe IS?
No LF-1 before 2020?
Levi
No LF-1 before 2020?
Sure, and RX, NX, CT? All of that before Tokyo 2020, so not sure what's left for after that.
I am giving credit to @franklexus, @t ClubLexus for posting this comparison:

LS


ES
Levi
No LF-1 before 2020?
Don't under estimate Lexus. Like I said it's my opinion. The 3GS upgrade to 3.5 engine between 2006 and 2007 that was even without a refresh or redesign also 2007 and 2008 430 to 460 change, the GX 2 row is another hint of how unpredictable they can be. The LS debuted with a TTV6 that most of us wasn't expecting especially after the LC lunch with V8. The most painful part of been a Lexus/Toyota enthusiast is they really don't let us know what is in works until maybe it's 90% done so all we can do is speculate or go with the rumors.
“In other brands you have to go to a higher price point to get that much room,” Ericksen says, pointing out the ES now offers more legroom than the larger LS sedan. “We have every indication we are going to continue to have a great conquest vehicle on our hands.”
This is coming from the recent article, Lexus ES F Sport Aimed at Younger Audience. Why are they advertising this? Do they really want to consumers to steer away from the LS? I don't know about the rest of you but Lexus marketing is taking a turn for the worse. If I was an LS owner, I don't want to see that my flagship vehicle has less rear leg room than the entry level luxury car that cost about 20-30k less. The ES has grown every generation and it's pretty damn scary. It doesn't feel like a midsize car.

Also, me being in the younger audience crowd that they are targeting to, I don't consider the ES F Sport on my list of vehicles to look at. It'll probably be the last vehicle I look at. I rather look at the new Corolla Hatchback over the ES. Nothing about the new ES is inspiring. I look at the rear quarter view and I see a lot of Camry influence. I see the front end; a lot of LS influence. I see the interior, a mix bag of previous generation RX mashed up with the LS interior. The rear end looks like the Sonata. I want something unique, which is why I have an IS F Sport.

I'm sorry Lexus but what's your target audience for the ES F-Sport. Mid-40s?
emptystreets130
This is coming from the recent article, Lexus ES F Sport Aimed at Younger Audience. Why are they advertising this? Do they really want to consumers to steer away from the LS? I don't know about the rest of you but Lexus marketing is taking a turn for the worse. If I was an LS owner, I don't want to see that my flagship vehicle has less rear leg room than the entry level luxury car that cost about 20-30k less. The ES has grown every generation and it's pretty damn scary. It doesn't feel like a midsize car.

Also, me being in the younger audience crowd that they are targeting to, I don't consider the ES F Sport on my list of vehicles to look at. It'll probably be the last vehicle I look at. I rather look at the new Corolla Hatchback over the ES. Nothing about the new ES is inspiring. I look at the rear quarter view and I see a lot of Camry influence. I see the front end; a lot of LS influence. I see the interior, a mix bag of previous generation RX mashed up with the LS interior. The rear end looks like the Sonata. I want something unique, which is why I have an IS F Sport.

I'm sorry Lexus but what's your target audience for the ES F-Sport. Mid-40s?
So if you think ES is uninspiring vehicle, why do you think it competes with LS then at all? It does not.
Reasons that make LS cool are not there in ES.

For people buying cars per yard, ES is great value.

As to the F-Sport, It is certainly targeted to less than 67 crowd, but not much less... ES is by far the most conservative Lexus, and this is on purpose.
Then they can go crazy with cars like UX.
spwolf
So if you think ES is uninspiring vehicle, why do you think it competes with LS then at all? It does not.
Reasons that make LS cool are not there in ES.

For people buying cars per yard, ES is great value.

As to the F-Sport, It is certainly targeted to less than 67 crowd, but not much less... ES is by far the most conservative Lexus, and this is on purpose.
Then they can go crazy with cars like UX.
I'm not saying it competes with the LS. I'm saying why get the LS if the ES will be bigger than the LS, and cheaper than the LS, with roughly the same power as the LS500h. Reading through the clublexus forums, not a lot of LS owners are happy with the ES.

E
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