Lux­u­ri­ate in Lexus hy­brid

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

In an in­ter­est­ing move, Lexus will im­port only hy­brid ver­sions of its Lexus ES 300.

Now in its sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion, the Lexus ES is be­ing of­fered in Lux­ury and Sports Lux­ury grades.

Com­pared with the out­go­ing gen-six Lexus ES, power has been in­creased by al­most 6 per cent to 160kW, while fuel con­sump­tion has been re­duced by 16.4 per cent, to 4.6 litres/100km as mea­sured on the Aus­tralian com­bined cy­cle.

A new-gen­er­a­tion 2.5-litre petrol en­gine is among the most ther­mally ef­fi­cient en­gines in a pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cle. It is linked to an elec­tric hy­brid sys­tem with com­po­nents that are smaller, lighter and more ef­fi­cient than be­fore.

Oddly, the Ja­panese com­pany that has made its name by pro­vid­ing near-silent run­ning now of­fers drivers the chance to turn on an “ac­tive sound con­trol”. This gen­er­ates an au­dio feed­back that gives the au­ral ef­fect of up and down­shifts like those ex­pe­ri­enced with a geared au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Al­loy wheels are stan­dard; 17inch for the ES Lux­ury and 18-inch for the Sports Lux­ury.

To coun­ter­act noise that can be gen­er­ated by low-pro­file tyres, the 18-inch wheels have a hol­low rim struc­ture.

In­fo­tain­ment is con­trolled through a 12.3-inch mul­ti­me­dia screen and there’s a wire­less phone charger. Satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, Lexus En­form and DAB+ dig­i­tal ra­dio are stan­dard.

ES Lux­ury fea­tures a 10-speaker Pioneer au­dio sys­tem. For Sports Lux­ury, the Lexus ES de­buts a 17speaker Mark Levin­son sur­round­sound sys­tem.

The Lexus Re­mote Touch In­ter­face pad has been re­designed and gains vi­bra­tion feed­back.

Heated front seats in ES Lux­ury of­fer 10-way power ad­just­ment. In Sports Lux­ury, they are also ven­ti­lated. There’s 14-way ad­just­ment for the driver’s seat and 12-way for the pas­sen­ger seat.

Rear head­room has been im­proved and lug­gage space ben­e­fits from the hy­brid bat­tery be­ing re­lo­cated un­der the rear seat.

The LCD in­stru­ment panel in­cor­po­rates a 7.0-inch mul­ti­in­for­ma­tion dis­play.

Other ES Lux­ury equip­ment in­cludes dual-zone air-con­di­tion­ing, au­to­matic, a moon­roof, elec­tronic park brake, pre­mium trim and a power-ad­justable steer­ing col­umn.

Sports Lux­ury ex­pands the air­con­di­tion­ing to three zones with a hu­mid­ity sen­sor.

It is also equipped with a hands­free boot opener, semi-ani­line leather-ac­cented seats, heated steer­ing wheel and ad­justable, heated rear seats that re­cline.

The New ES 300h is equipped with the lat­est ac­tive safety and driver as­sis­tance tech­nolo­gies from the Lexus Safety Sys­tem+.

New fea­tures in­clude day­time cy­clist de­tec­tion. The pre-col­li­sion sys­tem has also been en­hanced to de­tect pedes­tri­ans at night.

The shape of the all-new Lexus ES sedan is al­most coupe-like.

The LCD in­stru­ment panel in­cor­po­rates a 7.0-inch dis­play.

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