The wraps have been pulled off of the Lexus ES at the New York motor show. Lexus has revealed that it plans to build the executive saloon in left and right-hand drive configurations to be sold in all major markets globally.
Lexus says it plans to market the ES as a rival to the Mercedes E-class but at a lower price.
The new model will be available as a hybrid for the first time. The Lexus ES 300h is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine. Lexus claims the ES hybrid will cover an average of 48mpg. As with the rest of the Lexus range, it will have four drive modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV.
The Lexus ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine. No diesel engine is offered, which could limit appeal in European markets.
Both cars feature Lexus’ new ‘pinched’ front grille and sweeping headlights. The ES 350 has dual tailpipes, while the ES 300h has a hidden exhaust and a integrated spoiler for improved aerodynamics.
The ES has opposite-wound coil springs on the front, which are said to improve straight line stability. The rear suspension geometry has been revised and improved shock absorbing has been designed to improve ride comfort. High tensile steel and additional bracing and spot welds have increased rigidity while reducing kerbweight by more than 40kg.