Lexus ES Sporting Modish Metal for Seventh Generation

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • 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.

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.