Lexus ES Fsport

Sporting luxury from Lexus

16 May 2018

LEXUS is to introduce a new executive saloon to challenge the rival BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class ranges.

It will arrive here next year as an overdue replacement for the GS saloon range, and will be known as the Lexus ES, as in Executive Saloon.

Although not simply a smaller version of the recently-announced flagship Lexus LS model, there are similarities nonetheless, including the striking front grille.

Inside there is a whopping foot-wide infotainment screen plus another smaller one ahead of the driver.

Unlike its German rivals, the newcomer will be front wheel drive, and there will be the usual F Sport version to heighten its sporting appeal.

It will arrive here with a 2.5-litre petrol and electric hybrid propulsion system with a power output of 215bhp and claimed economy of 60mpg.

As is the Lexus way, the battery pack will be nickel metal in preference to lithium ion, and as the range expands we can also expect a more powerful six-cylinder version too.

First deliveries are due here next January, with prices yet to be announced.

Lexus is not saying at this stage if the entry-level ES 200 and ES 250 models will come to the UK in addition to the rest of Europe where they will go on sale from September of this year.

Leading the charge will be the F Sport models that get a rear spoiler, badging and dark lower valance, plus 19-inch wheels.

There is also Adaptive Variable Suspension, similar to that found in the LC coupe, which adds adjustable dampers at each wheel with 650 levels of damping force.

Another feature of the F Sport is a Sport+ mode for the Drive Mode Select system, which engages the most responsive engine, transmission and suspension settings

Across the range new safety features include daytime cyclist detection which is part of the comprehensive Pre-Collision System. Already capable of detecting oncoming vehicles and pedestrians, the Pre-Collision System’s ability to detect cyclists addresses one of the most common accident scenarios. PCS has also been enhanced to detect pedestrians at night by increasing the radar’s sensitivity and dynamic range.

Another new safety advancement is a two-stage adaptive high beam system, which uses 24 individual LEDs to create enhanced illumination while reducing glare for oncoming drivers.

A sophisticated 17-speaker Mark Levinson PurePlay system makes its debut in the new ES, with speakers sited at shoulder level throughout the cabin to optimise immersive sound.

Lexus achieved 75,000 sales in Europe last year, which is an all-time record, marking a fourth consecutive year of growth. In the UK the brand followed up its strong performance in 2017 with a sales increase of 4.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018. The company says that the new ES saloon will be a core model in its line-up, contributing to the brand’s ambition to reach 100,000 annual new car sales in Europe by 2020 – and not a diesel version in sight.