DE­SIGN

IT’S BIG. IT’S LUX­U­RI­OUS. IT’S BEEN STYLED WITH A TACK SHARP CAL­LIG­RA­PHER’S PEN. MEET THE MIGHTY 2018 LEXUS ES

Toyota Connect/Lexus Life - - CONTENTS -

The Lexus ES is ex­cep­tional!

Re­cently un­veiled at the Bei­jing Auto Show, the new sev­en­th­gen­er­a­tion ES wowed us with its lethal crease lines and an em­bold­ened vis­age. You’ll re­mem­ber the car it re­places for be­ing the front-wheel-pow­ered sa­loon in a fam­ily fa­mous for its dy­namic IS, GS and LS sa­loons and their coupé de­riv­a­tives. And if the new grille’s any in­di­ca­tion, it seems Lexus has ditched the sen­si­ble-pants ap­proach and given its af­ford­able, mid­sized limo some se­ri­ous pizzazz. In­stead of its afore­men­tioned sib­lings’ GA-L

(where GA stands for “global ar­chi­tec­ture”) rear-wheel drive plat­form, it once again gets a front-driven pow­er­train via its new GA-K un­der­pin­nings. So it’s still some­what sen­si­ble, but just as quick and rigid. This time around, though, per­for­mance has been en­gi­neered into its DNA, which is al­ready teem­ing with new-found am­bi­tion.

LEXUS HAS DITCHED THE SEN­SI­BLE-PANTS AP­PROACH AND GIVEN ITS AF­FORD­ABLE, MID-SIZED LIMO SOME SE­RI­OUS PIZZAZZ.

SKIN-DEEP

Stand­ing glint­ing in the af­ter­noon sun, the ES looks forged, rather than formed – the way a sword is forged, per­haps: wieldy and ath­letic, es­pe­cially in sil­ver, so you can truly ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery sur­face. It’s 65mm longer than the model which pre­cedes it, 5mm lower and 45mm wider, with an ex­tended track, thanks to a wheel­base that’s also grown. As a re­sult, those stac­cato al­loys (17” on the petrol model and 18” on the hy­brid) are now placed fur­ther away from each other than ever be­fore – elim­i­nat­ing the long over­hangs for which its pre­de­ces­sor was crit­i­cised. So in­stead of the over­hang, the ES gets a wicked stance and an ag­gres­sive road de­meanour which brings it right in line with the per­for­mance coupés that share its sta­ble. The re­sult is dra­matic – “provoca­tive el­e­gance”, as its Chief De­signer, Ya­suo Ka­jino, pro­claims.

Its lamp clus­ters are noth­ing less than au­to­mo­tive jew­ellery and the or­nate treat­ment con­tin­ues once you drop down into a leath­ery pew. Here you’re re­warded with an op­u­lent (and em­pir­i­cally ca­pa­cious) cabin lit­tered with tech­nol­ogy and safety ac­cou­trements, mul­ti­me­dia con­nec­tiv­ity and more. The cock­pit’s fo­cused on the per­son at the helm –

and not just the screen, mind you, but ev­ery­thing from the ped­als to the steer­ing wheel. As for ev­ery other oc­cu­pant, they’re blessed with the com­fort­able am­bi­ence in which they’re driven. That’s fair.

GO­ING FOR­WARD

WE’RE HAPPY TO WEL­COME THE NEW MOD­ELS TO OUR SHORES. EX­PECT BOTH AN IN­LINE FOUR-CYLIN­DER AND A PETROL-HY­BRID VARI­ANT.

Lexus South Africa will of­fer the ES in two dis­tinct vari­ants – the ES 250 and a hy­bridised ES 300h. You can ex­pect both an in­line four-cylin­der petrol and hy­brid vari­ant. Nat­u­rally, out­right per­for­mance will re­ceive an up­grade that en­dows it with enough bite to match its newly-ob­tained bark – this on a car that’s al­ready stiffer and lighter than the old model, and with fur­ther en­hance­ments, such as an all-new multi-link sus­pen­sion at the rear, plus rack-mounted elec­tric power steer­ing. This will trans­late into more en­gag­ing driv­ing dy­nam­ics and a sup­ple ride for all to en­joy, not just the lucky driver.

In fact, with all these im­prove­ments,

I’ll con­fi­dently put my neck on the block and de­clare that this lat­est ES will not only be­come the most de­sir­able one yet, but will also go a long way to­wards en­tic­ing new buy­ers who’d pre­vi­ously shop from more Teu­tonic lo­cales.

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