2019 Lexus ES: new saloon replaces GS and sets sights on latest 5 Series
The Lexus ES executive saloon was revealed at the recent Beijing motor show, and it’s now been confirmed it’ll replace the ageing GS when it arrives in the UK early next year.
It’ll be the first time the ES will be marketed Britain and, with stunning looks, high-tech hybrid drivetrains and an opulent interior, it’s set to rival the likes of BMW’s latest 5 Series.
Externally, the ES looks larger similar to the larger LS model, getting the same sharp LED headlights and swooping grille design. The rear end gets a sharper, cleaner design than the GS, while the low, sloping roofline gives the ES a much sportier appearance too.
F Sport trim levels add external features such as a rear spoiler, 19in alloy wheels that are similar to those found on the LC500, as well as exclusive paint finishes.
Inside, a central 12.3in display dominates the centre of the dashboard, while either a touchpad control or voice recognition can be used to operate the infotainment system and several other key functions.
The driver also gets a digital display instead of traditional dials, while the trim takes inspiration from Lexus’s home country of Japan – you’ll find bamboo-like wood on standard models, while in F Sport models, a metallic finish inspired by Japanese swords is used.
At 4.8m in length, it’s largely the same size as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6, which are also set to be this car’s closest rivals. So aside from those dramatic looks and swanky interior, can it compete?
Well, the ES is based on Toyota’s latest TNGA architecture, which means unlike the German trio it’s front-wheel drive-only. However, Lexus assures us it’s been built to deliver a higher level of performance than its predecessor.
From launch, the only UK-bound ES will be a hybrid – the 300h. It makes use of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor that combine to deliver 215bhp. Thanks to new battery tech, the lithium ion pack in the ES doesn't impede boot space, as they’re actually under the rear seats.
Claimed fuel economy stands at 60.1mpg, although whether that’ll be achievable in the real world remains to be seen. Other engines are likely to be introduced down the line, although all are likely to be hybrid. A V6 unit could be in the pipeline.
The ES is set to arrive in the UK in January 2019. No list prices have been confirmed yet, we’ll bring you more info as soon as it’s revealed. If you can’t wait for the new car, you can find thousands of Lexus lease deals by clicking here.