18 / 1 / 2019
European Dynamic Press Launch Press kit Lexus ES January, 2019
THE ALL-NEW LEXUS ES: A HIGHER LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE AND SOPHISTICATION
· A FOUNDING MODEL FOR THE BRAND, THE ES IS LEXUS’ MOST POPULAR SEDAN
· THE RIGHT TIME FOR ES’ DEBUT IN WESTERN EUROPE
After six decades of success in the mid-size sedan category, the seventh generation Lexus ES is forging a new and more ambitious path. Long renowned for its comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the new ES builds on its established strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and even better driving performance.
It stands as a further expression of Lexus’ design direction and commitment to crafting vehicles that provide more excitement, emotional connection and passion, helping bring its vision for its future to a wider audience. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious, quieter and safer than ever before, while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, class-leading safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this market segment.
THE ROOTS OF THE ES
The original ES launched the Lexus brand in 1989, alongside the LS flagship sedan. Since then, its popularity has been built on class-leading comfort and Lexus’ commitment to human-centred experiences expressed through intuitive driving behaviour or driver-centric cockpit.
Lexus has gained valuable insights by listening to the opinions of luxury car buyers around the world. This intelligence has been used in extensive real-world testing of the ES on different types of roads worldwide. Today, the ES is Lexus’ most popular sedan, amassing more than 2.3 million cumulative global sales.
READY FOR EUROPE
The seventh generation model is the first ES to be introduced to Western and Central Europe. It follows the LS flagship sedan and LC luxury coupe in carrying forward a new chapter in Lexus design that has a much stronger emotional quality. The eye-catching styling, made possible by the use of an all-new Global Architecture-K (GA-K) platform, will have particular appeal to customers in the region, together with a more engaging driving experience and even higher safety provisions. Western and Central European markets will introduce the ES 300h, powered by a new self-charging hybrid system. In other global markets, ES is also available with different petrol engine options, as the ES 200, ES 250 and ES 350.
Lexus achieved more than 75,000 sales in Europe in 2018, its highest total yet, marking a fifth consecutive year of growth. The new ES sedan becomes a core model in its line-up, contributing to Lexus’ ambition to reach 100,000 annual new car sales in Europe by 2020.
NEW DIMENSIONS IN ES DESIGN
· ‘PROVOCATIVE ELEGANCE’ DESIGN CONCEPT, UNDERPINNED BY USE OF THE NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE-K PLATFORM
· SPACIOUS AND COMFORTABLE CABIN THAT REPRESENTS THE FUTURE OF LEXUS INTERIOR DESIGN
EXTERIOR DESIGN AND THE CONCEPT OF ‘PROVOCATIVE ELEGANCE’
The new ES is built on the all-new Global Architecture-K (GA-K) platform, giving Lexus the opportunity to explore new territories in mid-size luxury sedan design. The car is longer (+65 mm), lower (-5 mm) and wider (+45 mm) than its predecessor. The longer wheelbase (+50 mm) allows the wheels to be pushed closer to the car’s corners, with wider front and rear treads (+10 and +37 mm). Its stance and proportions reflect its new-found performance capabilities and give the ES the kind of eye-catching appeal that will make owners and admirers take a second look.
Yasuo Kajino, the ES Chief Designer, describes the car’s new look as ‘Provocative Elegance’: “The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan. For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge buyers’ traditional expectations,” he said.
The new GA-K platform allowed for a lower bonnet line, which gave Kajino’s team the freedom to produce a distinctive silhouette with a strong downward slant, creating a dynamic yet fluid shape. Up front, the ES’ face is dramatically different, with variations according to model grade. The standard versions display elegant bars that radiate out from the centre of the signature Lexus spindle grille, while the F SPORT models – featured for the first time in the ES range – adopt a black cross-hatch pattern of interlocking ‘L’ shapes that correspond with cut-out sections at the car’s front corners.
In a break with past generations, the design features a rearward-sloping fast roofline that emphasises the vehicle’s lower stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end is clean and sharply chiselled, with LED lamps that wrap around the quarter panels to generate a continuous styling line when viewed from any angle. F SPORT models add a rear bootlid spoiler, badging and a dark lower valance to add emphasis to the look. Three different 17 and 18-inch alloy wheel designs are available for the standard ES models, with the F SPORT versions running on 19-inch1wheels that are similar in appearance to those found on the Lexus LC coupe.
A palette of 12 colours includes new beige and green shades: Ice Ecru is designed to capture the effect of light reflected off fresh snow, while Sunlight Green is inspired by ocean water in sunlight. Two exclusive colours - Sapphire Blue and F White - are available for F SPORT models, complementing their high-energy design.
CABIN DESIGN THAT REPRESENTS THE FUTURE OF LEXUS INTERIORS
When designing the look and feel of the ES’ cabin, Kajino’s team’s starting point was the Lexus Future Interior concept, which blends a driver-centric cockpit with a spacious and comfortable area for the front passenger. The driver’s focus is kept on the road ahead by locating the centre display screen, instrument panel and head-up display in a tight cluster within their field of view. Lexus calls this concept ‘Seat in Control,’ a simple idea that says from the moment you get in, all the controls you need are within reach and all the information you want is in plain view. Arm rests slide comfortably under your elbows and buttons can be pushed without taking your hands off the wheel.
Another means to reduce driver distraction is an optional head-up display that projects relevant vehicle information onto the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. Fully adjustable to suit the driver’s preferred parameters, the colour display is the largest in the luxury car class. In addition to basic functionality, such as speed, fuel level and shift position, the display can also present speed limit signs, Lane Tracing Assist warnings and navigation directions.
What the driver sees is also enhanced by what they feel. The driving position in the ES has been refined with a more natural steering wheel angle, revised pedal positions and even a 12-way adjustable seat as standard. The steering wheel itself is borrowed directly from the LS and features an ergonomically shaped rim and optional wood trim and integral heating elements. Heated seats are also available for the driver and front passenger, along with a new suction-type ventilation that draws directly from the air conditioning system for a quicker cooling effect.
The navigation system provides a 12.3-inch multimedia display and second generation Remote Touch touchpad control.
Rear passenger comfort has long been a hallmark of the ES and the new model upholds this quality, in spite of the sleeker, sloping exterior roof line. A lower hip point and carefully configured headlining preserve headroom while the longer wheelbase ensures generous legroom.
The interior colour options include a new combination that reflects the ‘Provocative Elegance’ design theme. The Rich Cream option matches cream upholstery with a brown headlining to give the cabin a modern, yet warm look and feel. Other choices include Black, Chateau and Topaz Brown.
¹ Subject to market availability
ELEVATED COMFORT IN THE NEW ES
· NEW ES MAINTAINS THE MODEL’S LONG-HELD REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENT CABIN SPACIOUSNESS AND QUIETNESS
· NEW ES SEATS DESIGNED FOR PERFECT BODY HOLDING AND COMFORT
· PAINSTAKING MEASURES TO SECURE ULTIMATE CABIN TRANQUILLITY THROUGH NOISE BLOCKING, INSULATION AND ABSORPTION
Roominess and quietness are long-established as core qualities of the Lexus ES sedan. The all-new model sustains this reputation, with undisputed class leadership in spaciousness thanks in no small part to a 1,022 mm couple distance – which is best in class.
The quality of the cabin has been secured with a forensic approach to designing the best seats in terms of comfort and body holding, regardless of the shape or size of the occupant, and to achieving the quietest and most tranquil interior ambience.
Lexus knows there is a direct link between quietness and quality and that a calm and peaceful cabin is a key element in the omotenashi hospitality that defines its vehicles. The all-new ES takes on-board quietness to a higher level, using new technologies and design features first seen in the Lexus LS to enhance its established reputation as one of the most serene models in its class.
To achieve its goals for the new ES, Lexus focused its efforts in three areas: countermeasures to tackle noise and vibration at their source; sound insulation, to prevent noise intruding in the cabin; and sound absorption, making extensive use of special materials to soak up unwelcome noise. The advances made with the all-new model surpass anything achieved before, delivering a calm and welcoming environment at all times, from the moment you enter the car to cruising at high speed.
PERFECTING THE IDEAL SEATS – A THREE-YEAR DESIGN PROJECT FOR THE NEW ES
Great seat design is a critical part of any new car’s development and Lexus undertook a three-year project to produce the ideal seats for the all-new ES, working through numerous prototypes to find the best combination of support and comfort, no matter the size or shape of the occupant.
For the design team this meant ensuring you feel at ease and your posture is just right with full support for your lower back, whether you’re highway cruising, or pushing the new ES through bends on a twisting country route. For the driver, there was the added requirement for the seat to communicate how the car is behaving, but with no unpleasant vibrations.
The seats have a simple structure, with polyurethane foam wrapped around an iron frame. It’s the flat cushion and raised side sections that support the hips and keep the body stable, while subtle depressions in the cushion’s surface allow for smaller occupants to enjoy the same level of body-holding as larger people. In typical Lexus attention to detail, a thin, soft layer added to the top of each seat lets your head sink into the cushion, adding to the feeling of stability.
Where the ES F SPORT is concerned, the designers took their inspiration from the LC coupe to produce seats that offer even greater body holding. Leading engineer Takeshi Kawano explained: “It’s because the ES F SPORT is such a sporty car that I felt we needed to stabilise the driver’s body so that they wouldn’t move at all, even when driving on a racing circuit at full speed. We’ve tested the seats, and we can tell you that even when going around a corner at high speeds, the driver’s position barely changes.”
CREATING A WHISPER-QUIET CABIN
No detail was too small when it came to giving the new ES a perfectly quiet and calm cabin environment. Lexus engineers took three years to achieve their goal, using the LS flagship sedan as their benchmark. They knew it was important not produce the kind of deadening, disconcerting silence of a recording booth, but to produce a comfortable, undisturbed ambience that lets you enjoy the audio system to the full, or share a conversation with ease.
To eliminate potential noise sources, the ES underwent extensive wind tunnel testing, leading to tiny but telling adjustments to the position of the door mirrors, wipers and other parts that intruded in the airflow over and around the car. The next step was insulation measures to prevent external sounds getting into the car, filling openings or sealing them with sheet metal. Finally, noise absorption materials were added in key areas, such as the suspension towers, wings and underfloor to soak up sounds and vibrations.
When calculating what needed to be done, the design team had to take into account factors such as road conditions or the weather, which can change from moment to moment. It was a huge challenge that took a lot of time and patience, but the results succeed in making the famously quiet Lexus ES a more tranquil vehicle to travel in than ever before.
A NEW ERA IN SELF-CHARGING HYBRID POWERTRAIN PERFORMANCE
· ALL-NEW, FOURTH GENERATION OF THE SELF-CHARGING LEXUS HYBRID DRIVE SYSTEM, FEATURING NEW 2.5 LITRE ENGINE, NEW TRANSAXLE AND NEW BATTERY
· TOTAL SYSTEM OUTPUT 218 DIN HP / 160 KW, COMBINED CYCLE FUEL ECONOMY FROM WLTP 5.3 L/100KM¹
· HYBRID CONTROL SYSTEM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE ACCURATE AND LINEAR ACCELERATION RESPONSE, WITH DRASTIC REDUCTION OF RUBBER BAND EFFECT
· NEW 2.5-LITRE ENGINE ACHIEVES WORLD-BEST PEAK THERMAL EFFICIENCY OF 41% ALLIED TO A SPECIFIC ENGINE OUTPUT
FOURTH GENERATION LEXUS HYBRID DRIVE SYSTEM
The new ES 300h is equipped with a new, fourth generation self-charging Lexus Hybrid Drive system that can deliver exceptional fuel efficiency, responsive performance and minimal emissions for a mid-size luxury sedan. It couples an ultra-efficient 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with a lighter, more compact and more power-dense electric motor. Total system power is 218 DIN hp / 160 kW and combined cycle fuel economy is from WLTP 5.3 l/100km¹.
The 2.5-litre engine is all-new and incorporates fast-burn combustion technology that makes it the most thermally efficient engineto feature in a production vehicle (with thermal efficiency as high as 41% with a top level specific output). The result is more power without increasing emissions or fuel consumption. Features that help achieve such results include straight intake ports, increased valve angles and laser-clad valve seats. A variable-capacity oil pump, multi-hole injectors, VVT-iE electric intelligent variable valve-timing on the intake valves and a variable cooling system also contribute to the engine’s heat and combustion management. No fewer than 60 prototypes were built to achieve the best possible performance and more than 10 million kilometres of road testing were carried out.
Designed specifically to work with the 2.5-litre engine, the new transaxle has a multi-axle arrangement of the electric motors in place of the previous coaxial set-up, which reduces the overall length of the package by nearly 30 mm. The traditional planetary gear set has been replaced by a parallel shaft gear and a multi-function gear that incorporates a power split planetary ring gear, parking gear and counter drive gear into a single compact unit.
The nickel-metalhydride battery that powers the electric motor has been relocated from the boot to underneath the back seat. This was made possible by a 120 mm reduction in the height of the battery and the adoption of a more compact cooling system. Moving the battery under the seat not only frees up extra boot space, it also improves the car’s front-to-rear weight distribution for better handling.
Several new features have been incorporated into the ES 300h to improve overall driving satisfaction and engagement. The hybrid control system is designed to deliver a more linear acceleration feel by aligning engine speed more closely with vehicle speed, reducing the “rubber band” feel commonly associated with hybrid systems. Engaging the Sport drive mode further enhances acceleration by boosting torque at lower speeds, while paddle shifters can be used to move through six simulated gears for more precise control.
¹ Correlated NEDC values: Fuel consumption from 4.36 L/100Km, CO2 emissions from 99.85 g/Km
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION INNOVATIONS FOR EXCELLENT RIDE, HANDLING AND COMFORT
· ES DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE UNDERPINNED BY NEW FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE GA-K PLATFORM
· NEW SUSPENSION DESIGN WITH DYNAMIC CONTROL SHOCKS WITH WORLD-FIRST ULTRA-LOW VELOCITY VALVE
· HIGHLY RESPONSIVE RACK-ASSIST ELECTRIC POWER STEERING
· EXTENSIVE CHASSIS TESTING ON EUROPEAN ROADS AND HIGH-SPEED RACETRACKS
The engineering team for the new Lexus ES, led by Chief Engineer Yasuhiro Sakakibara, had a clear goal: transform the model’s image. That meant turning a sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness into one that is equally capable of delivering class-leading handling and power that you can feel and hear.
According to Sakakibara, this ES has been built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of performance than any of its predecessors. He said: “We knew that this ES had to feel responsive and easy to drive, no matter what kind of road it was on. That can only be achieved with a solid foundation.”
The starting point was the new GA-K platform. It is an exceptionally rigid, front-wheel drive chassis that rivals the GA-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC coupe and LS sedan in terms of torsional stiffness. Various grades of high-tensile steel reduce weight compared to previous platforms, while enhancements such as an all-new multi-link rear suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace behind the rear seat gave the engineers the flexibility to tune the ES with a new-found precision.
The chassis team sought to create a sense of comforting predictability coupled with a feeling of quick response to every movement.
SUSPENSION THAT ADAPTS TO ITS SURROUNDINGS
With a solid base to build on, Sakikabara’s team turned its efforts to designing a suspension that could be tuned to deliver both exceptional comfort and precise handling. The resulting design uses MacPherson struts at the front and a trailing arm, multilink set-up at the rear, with anti-roll bars at each end.
Yoshiaki Ito, chief test driver, described the ES’s heightened level and refined definition of comfort: “We want every kind of driver to feel a sense of complete control when they are behind the wheel of the ES. It’s a level of comfort that goes beyond merely delivering a smooth ride.”
Although the design of the front suspension is similar to the previous ES, several changes have been made to improve overall responsiveness. The angle of the strut itself has been revised to better align it with the load path from the wheel for improved ride quality, while an increase in caster angle (+2 degrees) and caster trail (+8 mm) help improve straight line stability. New Dynamic Control Shocks are capable of responding to even the smallest movements thanks to a non-overlapping auxiliary valve that allows damper oil to flow in either direction before entering the main valve (see separate story below).
The new ES F SPORT is equipped with a new Adaptive Variable Suspension, details of which are given in the F SPORT chapter of this press kit.
The rear suspension design has a trailing arm, multilink setup that also benefits from the responsiveness of the new Dynamic Control shocks. Higher placement of the trailing arm mounting point and a larger bushing size result in improved control over road irregularities. Wider spacing of the anti-roll bar bushing mounts also contributes to overall roll reduction.
More precise steering inputs are delivered by a new rack-assist type Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. Unlike the previous ES which used an assist motor mounted on the steering column, the new EPS set-up puts the assist motor directly on the steering rack, which returns more precise feedback to the steering wheel. The new lay-out also allows for additional steering wheel adjustability with 30 mm of additional tilt and 40 mm of additional telescopic range.
INNOVATIONS IN SUSPENSION DESIGN
Lexus’ determination to take the ES’ famous smooth, quiet and refined ride to a higher level prompted a world-first engineering solution: a new Swing Valve Shock Absorber fitted with an ultra-low velocity valve. Simply put, this makes sure the right level of damping force is provided, even when there’s just the slightest movement in the wheels and suspension, for example when pulling away slowly.
The secret to the system’s effectiveness is the way the oil flow is controlled inside the new valve arrangement. The additional ultra-low velocity valve allows for operation at very low speeds, with the main valve coming into play at low and higher speeds. In each case, supple ride comfort is the result.
The development team also came up with a new double wishbone rear suspension, with components located with pinpoint accuracy to gain the rigidity needed for excellent steering response and handling stability. The complete chassis system was put through rigorous testing on European road surfaces of all types, as well on high-speed race tracks.
CLASS-LEADING SAFETY PROVISIONS WITH LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM +, CONFIRMED IN EURO NCAP TESTING
· ES ACHIEVES A 5-STAR RATING AND SIMULTANEOUSLY TOPS TWO CATEGORIES, “LARGE FAMILY CAR” AND “HYBRID AND ELECTRIC”, IN EURO NCAP’S 2018 BEST IN CLASS AWARDS
· SIGNIFICANTLY ENHANCED LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM + WITH ADDITIONAL CYCLIST AND NIGHT-TIME PEDESTRIAN DETECTION FUNCTIONS
· LEXUS CODRIVE PROVIDES SAE LEVEL 2 OF DRIVER ASSIST SUPPORT
· HIGHLY RIGID BODY THANKS TO DEPLOYMENT OF NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE - K PLATFORM
The class-leading quality of the safety provisions in the all-new Lexus ES has been independently confirmed in official, independent Euro NCAP testing. The model secured the maximum five-star rating with one of the highest average points scores the organisation has recorded under its tougher 2018 assessment criteria.
Key to the ES’ excellent safety performance is the latest version of Lexus Safety System +, an advanced package of active safety technologies (featured as standard on all versions of the car sold in Western and Central Europe). The development of Lexus Safety System + demonstrates the brand’s commitment to making sure the benefits of advanced safety technologies are not limited to high-end, high-specification models, but are made available across the board.
As implemented in the new ES, the latest version of Lexus Safety System + adds new capabilities and increases the range of driving scenarios in which it can provide extra alerts and safeguards to help prevent an accident from happening. The new features include daytime cyclist and night-time pedestrian detection as part of the comprehensive Pre-Collision System (PCS).
Already capable of detecting vehicles and pedestrians in the car’s path, the PCS now addresses one of the most common accident scenarios on the road today by being able to identify cyclists as well. The system has also been enhanced to detect pedestrians at night by increasing the radar’s sensitivity and dynamic range.
The combination of Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist correspond to Level 2 automated driver support (as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers) – aimed at enhancing safety while the driver remains in control of the vehicle.
Another new safety advance offered in the ES is a two-stage Adaptive High Beam system (AHS). This not only turns the headlight high beams on and off automatically for the driver, its 24 individual LED light array can adapt the light pattern to provide an enhanced field of illumination while reducing glare for oncoming drivers.
The new ES also has impressive passive safety provisions, underpinned by the quality of its ultra-rigid new GA-K (Global Architecture - K) platform. In the cabin, occupants are protected by an array of 10 airbags.
SUPREMELY IMMERSIVE AUDIO EXPERIENCE WITH MARK LEVINSON PUREPLAY
· 17-SPEAKER MARK LEVINSON PUREPLAY SYSTEM DELIVERS A NEW LEVEL OF IMMERSIVE AUDIO QUALITY
· PERFORMANCE ACHIEVED THROUGH PRECISION STAGING, WORLD-CLASS SPEAKER DESIGN AND ADVANCED TUNING AND DECOMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY
· NEW ES MARKS FIRST USE OF MARK LEVINSON PUREPLAY IN A VEHICLE
· 10-SPEAKER PIONEER AUDIO ALSO SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR THE INTERIOR OF THE NEW ES
The Mark Levinson PurePlay concept makes its debut in a 17-speaker Surround Sound System specifically designed for the all-new Lexus ES. Its world-first architecture has been created to immerse each individual in the car in the most powerful, precise and pure audio experience yet.
PurePlay leverages multiple unique approaches to deliver outstanding in-vehicle performance with precision staging, world-class speaker design and placement, and unparalleled tuning and decompression technology.
The ultra-quiet interior of the ES provides an ideal environment in which to enjoy the quality of the system. Mark Levinson was involved from the start of the new car concept programme, so that it can contribute to securing the best possible acoustic quality in the vehicle’s interior.
The array of speakers – two more than in the previous generation ES – includes 14 90 mm UnityTMspeakers, installed at seven points around the cabin, in a line from the instrument panel, through the top of the door panels, effectively surrounding the driver and passengers.
Placing the speakers at shoulder level enhances the acoustics and creates a tonal synergy. These perfectly timbre-matched locations deliver a consistent tonal colour between all the mid-range speakers and tweeters, effectively creating two identical sound stages for the front and rear passengers. As a result, each person in the car is enveloped in sound, creating a listening experience that is consistent in every seating location.
The system also features two nine-inch elliptical woofers in the front doors and a powerful 265 mm subwoofer – the largest ever installed in a production Lexus – behind the rear seats. There’s pleasing attention to design detail as well, with the visible speaker grilles finished with an organic pattern inspired by the veins of a leaf.
Mark Levinson makes use of impressive technology to achieve both superb reproduction quality and energy-efficient performance. This includes new Quantum Logic Surround to help build an accurate and full-bodied acoustic stage and high-clarity sound definition. The ES’ audio system also benefits from ClariFi 2.0, which plays sound as close to the original as possible, particularly with music from low-quality sources, such as highly compressed digital files.
Technology apart, the human ear remains an essential tool: the ES’s system is tuned by a team of expert acoustic engineers with exceptional aural sensitivity. Their skills help ensure that the sound produced evokes the authentic emotional quality of the music being played.
BESPOKE PIONEER AUDIO SYSTEM
The new ES is also offered with a 10-speaker audio system, designed specifically for the vehicle by Pioneer. It integrates a number of advanced technologies to provide accurate reproduction of any sound source, creating a real-life, immersive soundscape that adds another layer of enjoyment to any journey.
Pioneer’s digital signal processing technology can produce CD-quality sound from compressed MP3 audio files, with clear sound even when playing at low volume.
The architecture features 9 cm CST speakers on the left and right of the instrument panel that combine both a tweeter and a mid-range speaker. A single source is thus used to play back the full mid to high range, giving realistic reproduction of vocals and the effect of the artist singing live in front of the listener.
The speakers are positioned at the optimum angle to create a dynamic and rich sound field, with sound efficiently delivered to the listener both directly and reflected off the interior window glass. The result is a wide, deep, three-dimensional sound.
THE FIRST-EVER ES F SPORT
· THE FIRST ES GENERATION TO OFFER F SPORT VERSIONS
· EXCLUSIVE SPORTS-THEME STYLING AND EQUIPMENT FEATURES
· INTERIOR TRIM INSPIRED BY TRADITIONAL JAPANESE KATANA SWORD-MAKING TECHNIQUES
· ADAPTIVE VARIABLE SUSPENSION AND ADDITIONAL SPORT S AND SPORT S+ DRIVE MODES HELP DELIVER A MORE ENGAGING DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The seventh generation ES is the first in the history of the executive sedan range to be available as a Lexus F SPORT model. It is distinguished by exclusive, sports-themed exterior and interior design features, wheels colours and equipment features.
Going beyond sporty looks, the ES F SPORT also benefits from special chassis tuning and the provision of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). The result is a more engaging driving experience, but without sacrificing the comfort and refinement that are intrinsic to the traditional quality and character of the ES.
EXCLUSIVE F SPORT DESIGN ELEMENTS AND CABIN APPOINTMENTS
The ES F SPORT is distinguished at a glance by a wealth of sporty detailing that complements the car’s low, eye-catching lines. The bespoke features include a close-mesh pattern in the signature spindle grille made up of interlocking ‘L’ shapes, set within a jet black frame.
The same black plating is also applied to the rear combination light surrounds, while the F SPORT also adopts a discreet, integrated bootlid spoiler, lower rear bumper valance and F SPORT badging.
The model is fitted with 19-inch forged alloy wheels, similar in design to those found on the Lexus LC Coupe. Two exclusive colours - Heat Blue and F White - are available for F SPORT models, complementing their high-energy design.
The cabin features sports front seats embossed with the F SPORT emblem and a striking new aluminium Hadori trim, inspired by traditional Japanese katana sword-making techniques (see separate story, below). The F SPORT steering wheel and the shift lever are wrapped in highly tactile perforated leather and there is a set of sports-style aluminium pedals. Also exclusive to the F SPORT, the leather upholstery can be specified in a bold Flame Red colour.
F SPORT WITH EXTRA CAR CONTROL FEATURES
For an even higher level of dynamic performance, the ES F SPORT models adopt Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) in place of the Dynamic Control Shocks and adjustable dampers featured on other versions. Similar to the system first introduced on the LC coupe, this provides 650 levels of automatic, seamless adjustment to the damping force at each wheel to deliver optimal ride quality and precise control on any road surface.
Adjustments are based on information from sensors that measure both linear and vertical G loads, vehicle speed, steering angle, yaw rate and master cylinder pressure, in addition to information from the engine control computer and skid control computer.
AVS brings with it additional Sport S and Sport S+ settings for the Drive Mode Select system. Throttle response and the transmission program are made sharper in Sport S, while for even sportier driving, Sport S+ mode adjusts the throttle, transmission and steering parameters along with the adaptive dampers.
DRIVEN BY INTUITION: LEXUS CREATES THE WORLD’S FIRST FILMED ADVERT ENTIRELY SCRIPTED BY AI
Lexus pioneered the world’s first advert to be scripted entirely by artificial intelligence (AI) and directed by an Oscar-winning director.
The 60-second film, ‘Driven by Intuition’, forms a key part of the launch campaign for the new Lexus ES executive sedan in Europe. It was created using a bespoke AI scriptwriter that was developed by Lexus in partnership with creative agency The&Partnership London and technical partner Visual Voice. IBM Watson was used to analyse a range of external audio, text and visual data.
The story was brought to life by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, whose credits include ‘The Last King of Scotland’, the Whitney Houston biopic ‘Whitney’ and the Oscar-winning documentary ‘One Day in September’.
This world-first collaboration between AI and a renowned craftsman aimed to test the boundaries of how humans and machines can work together in perfect harmony, exploring the importance of intuition in the relationship between the two to showcase the responsive features of the new Lexus ES executive sedan.
The result is an engaging short drama that tells the story of a Lexus Takumi master craftsman who completes his painstaking work and releases the new Lexus ES into the world, only for it to be taken away and threatened with destruction.
At the crucial moment, the car’s automatic emergency braking system cuts in to save the day, demonstrating the value and effectiveness of the intuitive technology built into the car.
Vincent Tabel, Senior Manager Brand and Communications, Lexus Europe, said: “Here at Lexus we love to push the boundaries of technology and design, that’s why we wanted to do something completely different – a world first – to launch the new Lexus ES.
“The ES is both intuitive and innovative, so we wanted the advert to reflect this. The resulting film surpasses our expectations of what an AI is capable of, from its creativity to its human emotion.”
INSPIRED BY THE FINE TRADITIONS OF JAPANESE SWORD-MAKING
Lexus has a great reputation for seamlessly combining contemporary styling and materials with craftsmanship and aesthetics rooted in Japanese tradition. Such is the case with new Hadori aluminium trim featured exclusively in the ES F SPORT. It’s directly inspired by a centuries-old method of polishing the long, curving blade of the katana, the sword wielded by Japan’s famous shogun warriors.
Designer Toshihide Maseki recruited experts in the ancient craft to produce a prototype by hand. This was then replicated using machine technology, right down to capturing minute, randomly created lines that give the technique its special, hand-crafted look.
Maseki explained: “Although being refined is an important quality in craftsmanship, a product is incomplete without the addition of more human, more instinctive elements that are not based on simple calculation. Being machine-made but artisanal, being refined but having impact – these may seem like contrasting elements, but through a lot of trial and error, we were finally able to achieve this combination.”