Preview: 2013 Lexus ES reviews car previews luxury cars lexus
2013 Lexus ES. Click image to enlarge

Test Drive: 2010 Lexus ES 350

Manufacturer’s web site
Lexus Canada

Article and photos by Grant Yoxon

Photo Gallery:
2013 Lexus ES

New York City, NY – Lexus unveiled the all-new 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid at the New York International Auto Show last week. For the first time, the Lexus ES will be available with Lexus Hybrid Drive, combining a new, low-friction twin-cam 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric drive system.

The new beltless engine has a sophisticated power management system, 12.5:1 compression ratio, and variable valve timing. As with other Lexus hybrids, the ES will have four driver modes: Normal, Sport, Eco, and EV. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favours fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain responsiveness. EV mode will allow the ES 300h to be driven short distances at reduced speed.

Power for the ES 350 comes from a 3.5-litre V6 engine and an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission.

Preview: 2013 Lexus ES reviews car previews luxury cars lexus
2013 Lexus ES. Click image to enlarge

The new ES has a lower profile than previous, clean continuous lines from front to rear and Lexus’s distinctive new grille placed between LED daytime running lights. The ES 350 has dual exhaust pipes, while the ES 300h’s exhaust outlet is hidden. The ES 300h’s integrated spoiler differentiates the hybrid from the ES 350.

The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened 45 mm while the overall length has grown by 25 mm. The added length provides a much roomier interior than the outgoing ES, with greater rear seat leg and knee room and additional foot room beneath the front seats. Available comfort and convenience features include manual rear-door window shades, power rear shade and a one-touch power trunk closer.

The standard seat covering is NuLuxe, an eco-friendly leather-like material. Genuine leather will also be available.

Designed to improve ergonomics and driver attention, the ES’s controls are separated into display and operation zones. The main information display is directly in the driver’s line of sight. Just below the centre display is a self-illuminating analog clock. Controls are clustered beneath the information zone, on the steering wheel and on the centre console.

Preview: 2013 Lexus ES reviews car previews luxury cars lexus
2013 Lexus ES. Click image to enlarge

It is expected the new Lexus will be an even quieter ride than the previous ES as a result of fluid-filled engine mounts, new sound absorbing materials, and a tuned engine intake. Interior colours include black, light grey and parchment, while trim colours and materials include Piano Black, Espresso, Bird’s-eye Maple, and Bamboo.

Lexus expects the new ES will be a better driving car thanks to suspension and steering changes and a stiffer body. Opposite-wound coil springs up front should enhance straight-line stability, while revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping should enhance ride comfort. Use of lightweight high-tensile-strength steel, added bracing, and additional spot welds help increase body rigidity. Despite being larger, the weight of the new ES will be lower than previously, by 35 kg.

Seventeen-inch alloy wheels will be standard, while 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels will be available on the option list.

Preview: 2013 Lexus ES reviews car previews luxury cars lexus
2013 Lexus ES. Click image to enlarge

The new ES gets 10 airbags as standard equipment, including driver and front passenger knee air bags, front and rear seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags. Optionally available safety features include a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert when reversing, a lane departure alert system that is integrated with the ES’s automatic high beam dimming technology, and a pre-collision system that uses sub-millimetre wave radar to detect objects and prepare the vehicle for a potential collision.

The standard sound system will be Lexus Premium Sound, which features eight speakers, automatic sound equalizer, CD player, USB/iPod connectivity, and satellite radio. A display audio package adds a seven-inch screen, backup camera, HD radio with iTunes tagging, Bluetooth audio, phone transfer, and vehicle information display. Of course, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson system will also be available with an eight-inch display and Mark Levinson GreenEdge technology. GreenEdge doubles the output of the amplifier while reducing energy consumption by 50 percent.

The 2013 Lexus ES 350 should go on sale in Canada in the fall, while the ES 300h should arrive here early in 2013. Pricing will be announced closer to its availability.