Lexus says ES to new saloon
The old switcheroo: Lexus swaps out GS saloon for new ES, and it’s hybrid-only. By Jake Groves
YOU’LL BARELY NOTICE, but Lexus is quietly shuffling the GS saloon out of Western Europe to be replaced with this: the new ES. It’s a model familiar in the US and Russia, but it’s the first generation of the mid-sized exec to be sold in the UK.
The ES uses Toyota/Lexus’s GA-K platform also seen in the fresh ’n’ chunky new RAV4, so it swaps the GS’s rear-driven wheels for front-wheel drive and features adaptive suspension lifted from the LC coupe. Inside, it’s still trad Lexus with luxurious materials, a trackpad-based infotainment system and digital dials.
F Sport spec uses a ‘Hadori’ metallic trim inspired by Japanese sword makers. Lexus’s ‘Safety Sense +’ semi-autonomous safety kit is standard, while a booming Mark Levinson audio system is optional.
Want conventional petrol or diesel power in Western Europe? Tough. Lexus, like Toyota, is phasing out diesel power, and the turbo petrol 200t engines are quietly being bumped from the range due to poor sales, so the only ES powertrain over here is the 300h hybrid. A 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine linked to an electric motor cranks out 212bhp, and Lexus says it’s capable of achieving 60.1mpg. UK deliveries are coming in January 2019.