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Beijing show: Lexus fronts up with ES teaser

Up in my grille: The grille treatment on the new ES ushers in vertical bars, replacing the horizontal theme of the outgoing model.

Lexus teases new model that is expected to be seventh-gen ES mid-sizer

Lexus logo11 Apr 2018

By TIM NICHOLSON

LEXUS has revealed the first taste of what is expected to be its all-new ES mid-size sedan ahead of a reveal at this month’s Beijing motor show.

While Lexus is yet to confirm if the model in the single teaser image is the seventh-generation ES, leaked images that surfaced online earlier this week show the same spindle grille treatment with flowing vertical bars, replacing the horizontal theme of the outgoing ES.

The official teaser also has a blue Lexus badge in the centre of the grille, suggesting it is a hybrid variant.

The reveal in Beijing this month means an Australian debut is likely in 2019, possibly in the first half.

While Lexus is yet to reveal anything about the new model beyond the image, it is likely to be underpinned by the front-wheel-drive, mid-size version of Toyota’s New Global Architecture that is dubbed GA-K and forms the basis of the new-generation Camry and Avalon.

Powertrains for the ES are unclear at this stage, but it could get the twin-turbo V6 found in the new LS, as well as an updated petrol-electric hybrid system. Lexus’ 2.0-litre turbo-petrol unit found in the IS, NX, RC and RX is also a likely contender.

The current ES was launched in late 2013, with a mid-life facelift arriving almost two years later, and it is offered with Lexus’ ageing 204kW/346Nm naturally aspirated V6 engine and a 118kW/213Nm hybrid powertrain.

Pricing ranges from $63,750 to $72,361 before on-road costs for the existing range.

The ES is one of the slower sellers in its premium mid-size-car segment, and it not only faces competition from a number of competitors, it also has to compete with its IS and GS sedan siblings.

To the end of March this year, 52 examples of the ES have found homes in Australia, a 20 per cent dip compared with the same period in 2017. Only the BMW 3 Series GT (12) and Infiniti Q50 (46) have recorded fewer sales this year.

In 2014, its first full year of sale in its current guise, Lexus sold 667 ES sedans, enough to outsell a number of rivals, including the Q50, BMW 3 Series GT and 4 Series Gran Coupe, and the Volkswagen CC.

Australia missed out on the original ES sold in the US between 1989 and 1991, and the fifth-generation model from 2006 to 2012 that was not built in right-hand-drive configuration.

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