Spindled look, now with improved driving dynamics
Lexus Manila has today launched the next generation of their best selling model in the all-new 2013 Lexus ES350 sedan. The previous model was part of LMI's initial offering since they opened their doors in January 2009, and has been a consistent best seller in their line up.
The 2013 model is actually the 6th generation of the ES nameplate, having been in production since 1989 as one of the first two models that Lexus ever made; the other one being their flagship sedan, the LS. Traditionally, the ES is an upscaled, upmarket interpretation of Lexus on the Toyota Camry with near-fanatical attention to refinement, ride, details, paintwork and other bits.
The 2013 ES isn't based on the current Camry, as it shares its platform with the Toyota Avalon. The Lexus ES is manufactured at Toyota's ever-growing facility in Kyushu, Japan, particularly in Miyakawa.
The U.S. may be the priority market for Lexus, but interestingly Lexus Manila Inc. will be launching the new ES before the U.S. market gets theirs.
Exterior design and dimensions
Where the previous Lexus ES featured the L-Finesse design language prominently, the new 2013 model proudly display's Lexus's new 'spindled' look. Lexus's designers have given the ES a 'lower profile and cleaner styling lines from front to rear', as well as having pulled the corners 'tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions'. The new ES also gets the new 'L' motif for the headlamps' LEDs.
In terms of dimensions, the new ES350 is just as wide at 1,821mm and just as tall at 1,450mm over the outgoing model. The new one is longer, measuring 4,895mm and also has a longer wheelbase at 2,822mm (old: 2,776mm).
Interior design and features
The interior of the new ES follows the design patterns established with the recently launched GS. The dashboard makes used of deep wood trim, brushed metals, black leather, and beige to deliver a premium feel over the outgoing model. Customers can choose from either a predominantly black, gray or beige interior. Seats are lined in enhanced NuLuxe leather.
The dash is dominated by high tech equipment in the form of a new Lexus premium audio system with USB/iPod compatibility and Bluetooth as standard. Cruise control, a multi-information display system, steering wheel satellite controls, seat heaters/coolers are standard, amongst the many other power features installed.
Rear legroom and headroom has been significantly improved as a good number of local examples of the ES are primarily chauffeur-driven.
Powertrain and suspension
The new 2013 ES350 comes with the same 3.5 liter V6 Dual VVT-i engine found in the previous model, along with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 277 PS and 346 Newton meters of torque. Through improvements made in reducing internal friction in the engine, Lexus claims improved consumption estimates (by the U.S. EPA) at 8.9 km/L in the city and 13.2 km/L on the highway.
Driving dynamics are reportedly improved as the new ES has a stiffer body, quicker steering and revised suspension geometry in the back. 17 inch wheels and tires are standard, the latter being optimized for low rolling resistance.
Safety and security
The new ES350 comes standard with a plethora of safety features over the standards in the class. Stability control is standard along with ABS, EBD and brake assist. Lexus also installed a total of 10 airbags in the new ES350, while the front seats also get Whiplash Injury Lessening features.
Variants, prices and colors
The sole variant of the ES will be the Lexus ES350. It will be available in pearl white, silver, grey and black. Other colors are available on order basis.
2013 Lexus ES350 PhP 3,338,000