Lexus is adding F-Sport performance to its all-new 2019 ES, the first time the midsize sedan has undergone this sportier treatment.
The new, seventh-generation ES lineup will also include a hybrid model powered by a fourth-generation gasoline-electric system.
As the third vehicle in Lexus’ new redesigned styling, following the LC coupe and LS sedan, the company said the ES will expand the brand’s future to a broader audience.
The ES is now built on the company’s all-new global architecture and is longer and wider than the outgoing model, with longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. The ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid use vertical bars in their grilles, while the ES 350 F-Sport has a blacked-out pattern with L-shaped clusters.
Unlike past ES models, the 2019 version has a sloping rear roofline. The F-Sport adds a rear spoiler, and its standard 19-inch wheels use a design similar to that of the LC coupe.
Inside, the ES has a new driver-centric cockpit that focuses the instrument cluster and centre display screen to the driver, and provides a more open-style space for the front passenger. The rear seat features a lower hip point and configured headliner to preserve headroom despite the lower roof line. The F-Sport includes unique metallic trim with a three-dimensional appearance that’s used for the first time on any Lexus vehicle.
As before, the ES uses front-wheel drive, with an all-new multi-link rear suspension and rack-mounted electric power steering. The F-Sport offers adaptive variable suspension similar to that on the LC coupe, along with Sport+ drive mode and an engine sound enhancement system.
Both the ES 350 and F-Sport model use a 3.5-litre V6 making 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 34 horsepower and 19 lb-ft over the previous-generation V6. Both use a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The ES 300h hybrid uses an Atkinson-cycle 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with electric motor that delivers a combined 215 horsepower, and an expected 5.3 L/100 km fuel efficiency rating in combined driving. The all-new nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery is smaller than on the previous hybrid and is mounted under the rear seat to free up trunk space.
On the technology side, the new ES adds daytime bicycle detection to its pre-collision emergency braking system, better pedestrian detection at night, and for the first time in any Lexus, Apple CarPlay phone functionality.
The 2019 Lexus ES goes on sale in Canada in September of 2018.