It's Looking More Likely That the ES is the New Lexus GS

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
its looking more likely that the es is the new lexus gs

In a manner of speaking, that is. A recent report cast doubt on the future of Lexus’ rear-drive performance sedan, the GS, claiming that development of a next-generation model was off the table. That would make next year the GS’ last.

While Lexus wouldn’t confirm the report, a spokesperson’s choice of words was enough to add to the rumor. In a marketplace that’s big on SUVs and downright miserable to cars, it would make sense for Lexus to get ahead of the “too many cars” problem faced by the likes of Hyundai and pare down its lineup.

Now, another report says Lexus will call on a different model to fill the gap.

The ES, cousin to the Toyota Camry and Avalon, can thank lesser models for durable architecture and content that keeps customers coming back for more. It also makes the ES a relatively low-cost product for Lexus, development wise.

According to an unconfirmed report in Russia’s Auto Review, the automaker will serve up the replacement for the current-generation ES as the successor to both midsize models.

For the 2018 model year, the staid Camry adopts the automaker’s modular TNGA platform and an edgier body that Toyota hopes will rekindle interest in sedans. The new platform promises a lower center of gravity and improved driving dynamics. It also means vehicles based on the new architecture can easily incorporate all-wheel drive into the options list.

Will Lexus transform the ES — which is expected to adopt the TNGA platform for 2019 — into a do-all model, giving the dwindling pool of GS buyers something to think about while keeping the ES stable happy? Considering Lexus has no problem creating a 2018 LS 500 F Sport, it’s not a crazy idea.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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  • Iamwho2k Iamwho2k on May 02, 2017

    My parents have, except for the ES250, owned every subsequent version of the ES, and so I've had the chance to ride/drive all. My parents aren't looking for 'edgy'. They just want a smooth, quality ride and good dealer service. Oh well, my dad says this is probably their last car and they won't get to sample Akio's idea of an 'exciting' ES. With the current ES I feel Lexus has made a wrong turn. Its ride and even its seats aren't as comfortable as the last-gen, guessing Lexus cut corners on both the leather and foam padding, while the steering is as disconnected as ever. Whoever thought up the mouse controller ought to lined up against a wall.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on May 03, 2017

      Toyota did the same with the suspension tuning of the Avalon and Camry in the goal of making them "sportier" (just ended up ruining their ride). But since then, Toyota has revised the suspension settings to get them closer to their previous softer ride.

  • Spartan Spartan on May 03, 2017

    This makes sense. The ES can expand its market and the GS can finally die already. I'm willing to bet most people who bought a Lexus GS were up-sold by salesmen just to get the sales manager off their back about them sitting on the lots. I've driven both the GS and ES. I liked the ES better, and I'm 33. For a family that wants a spacious, comfy entry luxury "car" without breaking the bank, the ES is the car to buy. That or a Buick LaCrosse. The GS gives you less room, RWD, a marginally better interior and better handling, for what that's worth sitting in traffic. All the next gen ES needs to keep its flat rear floor and an electric AWD option. Hell I would buy that to replace my wife's aging 2010 Taurus SHO if we don't pony up and lease a Lincoln Continental instead.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on May 03, 2017

      The GS (esp. the current gen) is a complete different sedan than the ES (sporty sedan as opposed to a soft highway cruiser). Problem is, the customer-base for Lexus isn't known for having a large enough group to justify performance-oriented models.

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