By on April 18, 2018

lexus es seventh gen teaser

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]



Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “Lexus ES Sporting Modish Metal for Seventh Generation...”

  • avatar

    Very nice. The grille is starting to make more sense now that the designs it was intended for are appearing.

    I feel positive that my mom’s wealthy 70-something friend who lunches, who is a serial ES owner but has held off a couple years longer than normal on replacing her current ES, will be first in line for this one.

    • 0 avatar

      Lexus has the most loyal customers but after buying the spindle grills models, they face lots of stares from other drivers and kidding from acquaintances and friends.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. The most refined and pleasing iteration of the spindel, IMO (though I actually don’t mind them on the big brutish SUVs, but I know I’m in the minority)

      As for the profile, it reminds me of the Audi A7…not a bad thing:

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    I don’t hate it, but take away the spindle grille (PLEASE!) and what’s left is the most “Camrylike” Lexus in appearance since the original ES250…

    • 0 avatar

      I had this thought as well (that it resembles the Camry more than an ES has in a long time). And then I compared the ES to the 2019 Avalon. They are as similar as a 90s Buick and Chevrolet rebadge job.

  • avatar

    Looks basically identical to the current one from the B-pillar forward. The only real change seems to be the character line over the rear wheels and a more tapered (boat tail?) trunk.

    Also: no teenager has ever received a new ES as a first car unless their parents are rich and hate them.

    • 0 avatar

      “Also: no teenager has ever received a new ES as a first car unless their parents are rich and hate them.”

      Don’t bet on that. Our HS parking lot is full of 3-Series BMW’s and ES Lexus’s. If your parents are wealthy, Asian, and you’re a female- darned sure your first car is going to be one of those. Brand new, BTW, not hand me downs.

  • avatar

    I suspect they’ll implement AWD and move it slightly upmarket as they quietly kill the GS.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s something else I don’t get. We took the dog for an extended walk in my ‘hood this afternoon, and I counted 4 late model Lexus GS’s. Two Is’s, and one single ES (a hybrid at that). No LS’s, but a slew of RX’s.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    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…

  • avatar
    Colin F

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      @ 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].

  • avatar

    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.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: Charge as a name is perfect for an EV. An extended range edition could be called a Super Charger.
  • Jeff S: I am going to keep an open mind on EVs and see what transpires in the future.
  • Jeff S: The grill reminds me of a 58 Edsel.
  • Jeff S: Dead Weight might comment that Mercedes has become Cadillac.
  • Inside Looking Out: Nobody mentioned Telluride?

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber