By on February 22, 2012

The new Lexus corporate face will be appearing on the newest Lexus ES – a startling trend for a vehicle so conservative it makes Mitt Romney look like a chaps-wearing “lifestyle” devotee.

A spy shot out of China shows a vehicle purported to the 2013 Lexus ES250 – a smaller displacement model similar to the world market GS250. The car’s interior is also said to look more like the GS, rather than the simple but elegant Camry-esque interior. The addition of a whole suite of infotainment features like Toyota’s Entune may be complex for a certain segment of ES drivers who are well into their “retired in Florida” years, and who rely on their grandchildren for tech support. A family friend  in their 70′s recently opted for a Lexus LS460 rather than purchase a Lincoln MKT Ecoboost, as they found the tech features of the Lincoln distracting and hard to use. Imagine what a “Greatest Generation” tech backlash would look like.

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47 Comments on “2013 Lexus ES Gets The Corporate Mug...”


  • avatar
    PintoFan

    Tinfotainment: a new in-car information system that only displays Infowars, Global Research, and Alex Jones radio broadcasts, and updates you about the daily chemtrail forecast while the GPS warns you about nearby FEMA detainment camps.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Sigh…

    I miss the days when Lexuses were rebranded JDM Toyota luxury cars. You didn’t get the same-sausage-different-lengths design, and each car was free to suit it’s itended market: thusly, the IS looked like a boy-racer sports sedan, the ES like a Buick-a-like, the LS like a Benz (or at least like Benz before Benzes got tacky) and so forth.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    “Imagine what a “Greatest Generation” tech backlash would look like.”

    I’d guess it would look like a wall of pastel blue Town Cars heading straight toward you at 16-20 mph.

    Just as Ford leaves the market…

  • avatar
    John R

    Ruh-roh. There’s a whiff Scion TC at the front, no?

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    And CJin$Iowa(Toyota fanboy) thought the CTS-V front end was ugly. The new Lexus lineup is getting very fish mouth looking.

  • avatar
    Marko

    The new face doesn’t bother me any more than the current ES. It will probably blend in just as it has, for better or for worse.

    Entune is generally optional, no?

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    I thought this was supposed to kick the Buick LaCrosse’s ass.

    I guess not.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I like the Predator/Darth Vader Helmet on some Lexus products – this image, if its for real (it is China) does not work. Not quite as bad as the Acura King Authur shields/can openers of a few years ago – but close.

  • avatar
    Advo

    Let’s risk the sales of *all* models on some untried, radical styling change.

    Are they at least going to offer customers who are used to such a thing a no-cost option of having the car drive as uneventful and relaxing as previous models?

  • avatar
    dima

    Well, Lexus used to be elegant and classy, well sort of. Now it is over the top. Lets face it, I’m just hair short of been 40 and to me, this is too much. Unlike this new thing, I love the front of my 2008 GS350, it conservative and classy. At this point, all this new car is missing is a fart can of enormous proportions.
    Lexus really did lost their way.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      Yeah. I liked L-Finesse.

      I also liked what they did with the original SC300 – no grille at all. The LS did have a grille, but the car had awesome aerodynamics for the time (in the details, not the shape – it did bring down the coefficient of drag quite a bit). Going grille-less would’ve been a bold statement to make nowadays, with more potential for elegance.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        A grille-less car could get those mpg figures easier, but for some reason designers not only want often unneeded grilles, they want huge or strange angular grilles.

        Give me the old, small grilles of the 1980′s, or just give me a blank spot.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Today’s designs are badge-mad. And we’re not just talking cars: anything and everything sold has to make accommodations for a larger logo.

        Remember buying a computer in the 1990s? Remember how Apple used to have a little, tiny 1/4″ logo? Have you seen a modern Macintosh or iPhone/iPad? How about a pair of shoes, or a shirt.

        Very, very few companies still maintain the product-as-brand design. BMW comes to mind in automobilia, but I’m pressed to think of anyone else.

  • avatar
    Dynasty

    My guess is most of the lower level staffers at Lexus Design probably do not like this new look. But there are TWO people high enough up in the food chain who do, and that is why we are getting this.

    I’m just relating my experience with what my organization produces. 99.9% think direction B is much preferred to direction A, but 1 or two people with high pay grades think direction A is better because of one minor facet. Then it comes time to execute, and yep, the masses were right.

  • avatar
    mjal

    There are fewer and fewer of the “The Greatest Generation” of drivers left, since they would be at least 85 years old and many of whom are averse to buying Japanese products.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Wont be able to tell which Lexus model it is until you get behind it

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Looks too much like the GS (at least from this picture). That isn’t a good thing for the GS. I also don’t think the look is conservative enough for Lexus #2 seller behind the RX. You could see quite a drop off because of this.

    Also, everyone who was saying 4 cyl cars shouldn’t be in Luxury brands when Buick was doing it… well now Lexus is doing it too if it does in fact come out with the ES250.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      We’ll see the Camry Hybrid engine in this instead of the 2.5L V6 from the IS250.

      The rear 3/4 view and the interior of this car looks quite good. You do have to actually have to click on the link to see it though (harder to make a rash judgement and snarky comment if you look at all the pics, though). I don’t mind the nose on this, either. The previous gen GS did little for me, but the new GS looks fantastic. The styling of the last gen ES did zero for me, but this actually looks quite good.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      @Steven02, if Mercedes can offer the S250, I don’t see why Lexus can’t offer the ES250.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It looks a lot like an Audi. I’m not seeing the problem here.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      Of course not. You don’t live in the reality distortion field that the raving Toyota haters occupy.

      That grille is pretty tame compared to the nonsense coming from Acura, Hyundai and others lately. If was a more conventional design, we’d be hearing how boring it is. Toyota can’t win with these clowns, but based on their continued sales success, it really doesn’t matter.

      • 0 avatar
        dima

        why Toyota haters? I own gs350 3rd generation. But again look at this thing. The hood lines look out of place where they meet this bumper. “Predator” mouth is fine, but there is too much plastic on the bottom near fog lights. This is an ES we are talking about, you know for mature audience, also Audi’s front is not like this, it has more defined lines with logical cutouts.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      The problem is that potential customers for this car don’t buy Audis. They buy Lacrosses, C-classes, and various other highly conservative sedans. I don’t dislike the design myself, but I’m guessing that it’s a little too aggressive for this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “They buy Lacrosses, C-classes, and various other highly conservative sedans”

        I don’t think that anyone is benchmarking the Lacrosse for much of anything.

        As for the styling, it is conservative. It will probably age reasonably well, unlike a lot of Japanese designs. Designs that age gracefully are one things that the Germans do better than anyone else, and TMC would be wise to take lessons from those who can teach.

        I notice that the TTAC audience freaks out about this kind of stuff — the reaction to the Audi grille was rather shrill here, too — but the average near-luxury car buyer is probably going to take it into stride. The trend these days is for car makers to use a common corporate “face” across the lineup, and this one looks adaptable enough to work in a number of applications. Again, I’m just not seeing the problem here.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      When a companies entire line-up looks the same its difficult to tell what the economy car is and what the “the aggressive, sporty ‘Ring champion”. At least until you drive it.

      Plus its just lazy to stylize one front end and copypaste it onto everything.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Plus its just lazy to stylize one front end and copypaste it onto everything.”

        It isn’t “lazy”. The objective is to center a brand around a common look, not just a logo.

        I would imagine that it actually poses more of a challenge to a designer, as the basic elements of the face have to be planned so that it is suitable to being adapted to a variety of designs, from entry luxury to SUV/CUV to high-end luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      “Designs that age gracefully are one things that the Germans do better than anyone else” Sorry dude but I have got to disagree. Did you see the last Generation of BMW’s?? Not attractive at all. Yes they sold alot of 7 series but as you can see they went back to a more classic BMW look with the new line up.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Thanks so much for dissing old drivers. Just pull over if you see a pale yellow 1953 DeSoto bearing down on you.

  • avatar
    dave-the-rave

    Ug-gly. And wrong-headed to boot. You could at least make an argument for this fishmouth grille on the “aggressive” GS, but it has no business heading up the “pleasant” ES.

    Matched luggage for its own sake is a common marketing mistake. The grille is not what makes each car a Lexus, so let each model have its own distinctive and appropriate schnozz.

  • avatar
    John

    Is it just me or do all the 2010 and up cars grilles look like dying guppies? And please, stop calling them “aggressive”.

  • avatar
    wsn

    I really like the style. When the GS’s pictures came out, I liked it but thought it’s a bit too pricy for my situation and I would prefer a FWD (for the exact reasons J.B. stated).

    I will very likely buy this car, but not in the next year. I need to buy a Prius V first.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Some car companies can get away with a much more bulky front end compliant with pedestrian rules because they have masculine styling elements. Lexuses… Lexii? have always been effeminate in appearance, so slapping a butch front end on a questionably feminine body gives the automotive equivalent of PJ Harvey.

    Toymoco needs to restyle most of their cars to look less like rolling tampon dispensers. But since most Lexus buyers are too old/blind/don’t care about styling or performance, I doubt that this will affect sales. But it won’t draw people away from Audi, Merc, or BMW as Lexus wants it to.

  • avatar
    svenmeier

    What a terrible design. Utterly plain, bloated and a fatter CT200h, no wait, 2012 GS front fascia, tacked on. Absolutely horrible.

    In Europe Lexus isn’t big for a number of reasons and design is probably one of those reasons. This ES car isn’t sold here (if the Camry doesn’t sell well here, don’t bother bringing this over) although there are two last-generation ES for sale at a local car dealership in downtown Zurich. This dealership sells imported American cars or cars that are sold in the American market. I know the manager and he informed me that the people walking into the showroom show zero interest in a Lexus ES or any Lexus for that matter. In fact they have not managed to sell those ES for an entire year. And nobody seems to show interest in them either.


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