The sixth generation of Lexus’ popular ES luxury sedan is being introduced with a hybrid version. Lexus has just released details about this soon to be available sedan. This will be the first ES hybrid since the model’s introduction over 20 years ago.
Known as the ES 300h, the ES hybrid will have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine and is expected to earn EPA fuel economy ratings of approximately 40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 39 mpg combined. The ES 300h generates 200 total system horsepower.
The new, low friction engine utilizes a sophisticated power management system and high compression ratio (12.5:1) to increase overall efficiency. Equipped with an electric water pump, electric power steering, and an integrated hybrid electric motor/generator, this engine does not require any accessory belts. The beltless design helps improve fuel economy and overall reliability.
Just as in the Camry hybrid, the ES 300h’s engine will be paired to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.
This powertrain complies with the SULEV emission certification.
The ES 300h features a Drive Mode selector with EV, Normal, Sport and Eco modes. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain and steering responsiveness, and changes the IP from the hybrid power monitor to a tachometer. The EV mode allows short distance drives, at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack.
Revised inside and out, this sixth generation features a lower profile and clean styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions.
The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by one inch, resulting in shorter overhangs and a more spacious interior.
The new ES bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille. The “L” design motif is reflected in the LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia. The ES 300h features an exclusive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated rear spoiler. Other details specific to the hybrid include unique blue badging and exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels.
The ES will be equipped with standard 215/55R17 low rolling resistance tires.
Greater rear seat legroom and knee room are the hallmark of the redesigned, more spacious passenger cabin. Rear headroom is increased by 0.8 inches, knee room is increased by 2.8 inches and legroom is lengthened by 4.1 inches. Additional foot room below the front seats enhances rear passenger comfort.
A newly sculptured 10-way adjustable power seat is standard on all ES models. An available 12-way power seat allows the seat cushion to extend by 1.4 inches for better leg support. In addition, the steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position.
The cockpit features separate display and operation zones to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The instrument panel, with its long, layered look, places the main information display directly in the driver’s line of sight, supplemented by a center-mounted 3.5-inch color TFT multi-information display screen or available navigation and multimedia system. Below the center display is a self-illuminating LED analog clock.
The second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller located on the center console. RTI also reduces eye and hand movement, helping to decrease effort and distraction.
The steering gear ratio has been reduced from 16.1:1 to 14.8:1 to help deliver a more responsive and direct steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and more spot welds. Airflow is smoothed beneath the vehicle, improving stability and fuel economy, and reducing drag.
Prices have not yet been released.