New Lexus ES hybrid electric targets European handling

By Wright Communications

The new model ES on the all new Lexus Global Architecture platform is now only available with a self-charging hybrid electric powertrain. More than just an engineering achievement, the GA-K platform gives the designers the flexibility to create an ES that's as visibly striking as it is enjoyable to drive.

"The new Lexus ES continues the brand's commitment to crafting brave vehicles with heightened excitement, emotion and passion," said Paul Carroll, the Senior General Manager of Lexus New Zealand.

"The ES has always been an elegant, luxury sedan. For this generation, the addition of daring design elements challenge the traditional expectations of buyers."

"ES is now longer, lower and wider than before with wheels that have been pushed out to the corners of the car with a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear track. It makes for a well-balanced chassis and a more engaging drive," said Mr Carroll.

The ES has a dynamic yet fluid shape that starts with the low hood line made possible by the new platform. From there, the roofline remains low and sleek thanks to the relaxed A-pillar that flows smoothly to the sharply slanted C-pillar.

A long, uninterrupted shoulder line that extends from the top of the front wheel arch all the way to the corner of the boot serves as a contrast to the smooth arc of the roofline and gives the ES a refined sense of sportiness. The trademark spindle grille has a vertical pattern that radiates out from the centre.

A new fourth generation self-charging hybrid electric drivetrain couples a new ultra-efficient, Atkinson cycle 2.5 litre, four cylinder petrol engine with a lighter, more compact and power dense electric motor delivering a combined 160 kW of power. The previous model produced 151 kW.

A more compact nickel-metal hydrid electric battery, now located under the rear seat, has freed up more luggage space in the boot. The ES 300h has a 4.6 litre/100 km combined fuel consumption, a 16% improvement over the outgoing model.

"Drivers will notice how quiet the new ES is," said Mr Carroll. "There is a noise insulated windscreen and front door glass, and we have included very high levels of specification, even on the entry level models."

The line-up includes nine exterior colours including two newly developed Lexus colours - Ice Ecru and Olive Green.

Seat upholstery is a choice of NuLux synthetic leather in Black or Chateau with Black 3D film trim in the ES 300h. The Limited variant offers a choice of Black or Rich Cream in semi aniline accented leather with Bamboo or Shimamoku wood trim.

Within Lexus Safety System+ the pre-crash safety system has been upgraded to now also detect pedestrians at night and cyclists during the day. Two new additions to Lexus Safety System + are lane tracing assist (LTA) and road sign assist (RSA).

The previous lane departure alert system has been updated to LTA which adds new functionally to this innovative safety system. In addition to following lane markings on highways and motorways, LTA is now able to recognise the roadside even when there is no road marking. When dynamic radar cruise control is being used, LTA is able to use the lane marker or the path of the preceding vehicle to keep your vehicle centred in its lane. It can even operate around curves.

Road sign assist monitors road speed limit signs and then displays useful information such as the current speed limit to the driver. When using dynamic radar cruise control the driver can quickly adjust their set speed by using the speed limit information recognised by the road sign assist system.

A slim instrument panel is the main feature of the interior including a high definition 12.3-inch centre display, colour head-up display, 7" colour TFT meter with the option of an analogue or digital speedometer display, and a 4.2-inch multi information display.

Included for all ES variants are sequential paddle shifts for the electronic continuously variable transmission, Lexus Safety System+ which includes autonomous emergency braking, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, smart entry and push button start, card key, Qi compatible wireless device charger, rain sensing wipers, auto headlights, power sunroof, and satellite navigation with SUNA traffic.

The ES 300h includes a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, 17-inch grey metallic alloy wheels, , eight-way power front seat adjustment with heaters, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, 10-speaker Lexus audio, and automatic high beam.

The ES 300h Limited model adds blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, panoramic view monitor, a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, ten-way power driver's seat adjustment, front seat ventilation and memory, steering wheel heater and wood ornamentation, outer rear seat heaters with power recline function, power rear window sunshade and manual rear door shades, automatic power folding exterior mirrors, sequential indicators, three-zone climate control air conditioning, 3-lens headlights with washers and a dual-stage adaptive high-beam system, 18-inch hyper chrome metallic finished alloy wheels and a kick activated boot lid.

Every Lexus purchased includes a transferrable 4 year unlimited kilometre, full maintenance service coverage, warranty plan and AA roadside service. The Lexus self-charging hybrid electric battery has an 8 year warranty.

The Lexus ES 300h is priced at. -

Lexus ES 300h 2.5 Petrol HV ECVT $76,990

Lexus ES 300h Limited 2.5 Petrol HV ECVT $92,990

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