Last month’s announcement about Lexus’ new Direct4 all-wheel-drive system drew much excitement and praise from Lexus enthusiasts, with an understandable focus on the performance of this new system, as well as a mystery CUV seen in the promotional video. However, one element of the video has slipped fairly under the radar, despite being front and center: a mildly disguised Lexus ES prototype with Direct4. It doesn’t require much guesswork to see that this is certainly an ES: despite the camouflage, the exterior shapes and details are apparent, and the interior shots obviously show an ES.
This begs the question: Is Direct4 coming to the ES, or was it merely a prototype?
Looking at the calendar, the ES is due for it’s mid-cycle refresh later this year, and the GS has now officially been retired from Lexus’ lineup. Consider the lukewarm reception to the four cylinder ES 250 AWD, and it seems possible that a Direct4 ES could be available in showrooms sooner than we might think.