Lexus ES Sporting Modish Metal for Seventh Generation

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
lexus es sporting modish metal for seventh generation

The next-generation Lexus ES will debut at the Beijing auto show this month, which is fitting. China knows luxury and appears to be preserving high-end sedans while Americans continue to turn their backs on them in droves.

Domestic sales of the ES have reflected that. But Lexus is launching a sleeker, sexier, and more curvaceous version that will eventually arrive in dealerships across North America. We expect a bump in deliveries, not only because it looks better but because the GS won’t be around for much longer — and middle-aged oral surgeons will need something to bestow onto their children as a first car.

So far, Toyota is only comfortable with giving us a teaser image and video. But it’s enough to have us feeling good about the overall design, including the gargantuan grille. At a glance it looks very much like the LS, just less rounded and flowing.

From a hardware perspective, there’s no reason to think the seventh-generation ES won’t follow in the sixth’s footsteps and remain closely related to the Toyota Avalon. We’re willing to bet it’ll offer an identical hybrid setup using an 2.5-liter inline four and probably a tuned-up version of the Avalon’s 3.5-liter V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic. But we’re optimistic Lexus will offer something above and beyond the standard fare to service the interests of GS F buyers.

However, you shouldn’t expect the new ES adopting characteristics from the GS. Considering the platform it will be using, a rear-drive variant with a 5.0-liter V8 is out of the question. Base models will still be front-wheel drive but we suppose the automaker could eventually implement all-wheel drive — most likely on the hybrid.

[Image: Lexus]

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  • 30-mile fetch 30-mile fetch on Apr 18, 2018

    Don't FSport it. It's FWD, it doesn't belong unless you can get it to turn like a GTI or Focus RS. If you must chase former GS buyers, offer an XSE equivalent suspension and steering tune and keep the badging and side skirts quiet while doing so. I just saw an FSport CT the other day and if the Germans weren't laughing already...

  • Colin F Colin F on Apr 18, 2018

    So, a Dyson vacuum meets a Baleen whale at the bar during an Adobe Photoshop (R) convention and decide to hookup. This is their progeny. The automotive press goes wild.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Apr 19, 2018

    Why speculate that they'll try to pump this up to GS-F performance? They're completely different cars playing in completely different sandboxes. I like this new exterior. I am sure the interior will be very nice indeed. I drive a GS400 and honestly, I don't get the foam-at-the-mouth hate that BMW drivers have for Lexus. My car is plenty fast, soaks up potholes quietly, has a lot of miles and the GD-thing don't break. Are BMW drivers insecure about their cars? I'm not. If the GS goes away, I'll drive my car until about 2022 and scoop up a 2013/14 GS350 for cheap and drive it 20-years.

    • Featherston Featherston on Apr 19, 2018

      @ Lightspeed - FWIW, the only GS owner I know loves hers; her previous car was an E60. There's definitely a lot of reflexive Lexus hate out there, much of it illegitimate. Here's an quote from a Jalopnik--I know, I know--commenter several years ago: "If Lexus wants to compete with the Germans, they need more RWD." This was from late '14, when the IS, RC, GS, and LS all were in production [eyes rolling].

  • A5ehren A5ehren on Apr 19, 2018

    The grille is too ostentatious for the quiet neighbor with $5MM in the bank, but I suspect that guy already owns an Avalon or loaded Highlander anyway. I'm sure it will be perfectly competent at what it does, and won't be mentioned on TTAC again until the press release for the mid-cycle refresh hits your inboxes. Which is fine, not everything has to be for everyone.

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