Lexus ES debuts with all-new chassis, exterior
The seventh-generation Lexus ES is set to redefine its status among entry-level executive sedans. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the 2019 Lexus ES builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT.The introduction of the new Lexus ES continues the brand’s commitment to crafting vehicles with heightened excitement, emotion and passion. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious and quieter while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, advanced active safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment.The seventh generation Lexus ES will be the first to be introduced to markets in Western Europe, an online review journal netcarshow.com has revealed.
The New Dimension of Lexus ES Design
A key element of the redesigned Lexus ES is the all-new Global Architecture-K (GA-K) platform. More than just an engineering achievement, the GA-K platform gave the designers the flexibility to create an ES that’s as visibly striking as it is enjoyable to drive. The result is an ES sedan that is longer (+2.6 in / 65 mm), lower (-0.2 in / 5 mm) and wider (+1.8 in / 45 mm) than before with wheels that have been pushed closer to the corners thanks to a two-inch longer wheelbase and wider tracks front (+0.4 in / 10 mm) and rear (+1.5 in / 37 mm). Its stance and proportions reflect its newfound performance capabilities and give the Lexus ES the kind of eye-catching appearance that will make owners take a second look as they walk away.
Project Chief Designer, Yasuo Kajino, describes the look of the ES as “provocative elegance”.Kajino said: “The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan. For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”The provocative elegance of the design starts up front with the latest iteration of the brand’s signature grille. It follows the path set forth by the LC coupe and LS flagship, yet adds individual cues that are unique to the ES like the vertical grille pattern and satin plated trim. That theme is repeated at each corner of the bumper to give the Lexus ES a wide, planted look that promotes strength and stability.
The newly introduced F SPORT model sets out in a different direction entirely, with a grille that borrows directly from the LS flagship. In place of the standard model’s vertical bars, the F SPORT has a mesh pattern composed of interlocking “L”s with a jet-black finish and dark trim. Cut outs at each corner of the front fascia also sport the black finish mesh, but have even wider openings than the standard model to further emphasize the firmly anchored stance.
To complete the transformation of the front fascia, Kajino’s team gave the ES slim headlamps with distinctive “L” shaped marker lights. Optional triple beam headlights further refine the look with three compact LED projector units while the standard design features a single LED projector beam design that retains the signature “L”-shaped marker lights.In profile, the ES has a dynamic yet fluid shape that starts with the low hood line made possible by the GA- K platform. From there, the roofline remains low and sleek thanks to the relaxed A-pillar that flows smoothly to the sharply slanted C pillar. A long, uninterrupted shoulder line that extends from the top of the front wheel arch all the way to the corner of the trunk serves as a contrast to the smooth arc of the roofline and gives the ES a refined sense of sportiness.
The rear of the Lexus ES is clean and sharply chiseled, with LED taillamps that wrap around the quarter panels to provide a continuous styling line from any angle.The lights feature a distinctive three-dimensional, L- shaped design that gives each cluster an eye-catching depth. Kajino’s team also integrated the side of the vehicle into the rear end by drawing the shoulder and bumper corner lines into the point at the inner edge of each taillight. Finishing off the rear end is a lower valence that highlights the wide stance through the use of chrome exhaust finishers at each corner. On the F SPORT model, a trunk lid spoiler adds a tasteful hint of performance while dark accents along the taillights and lower valance are more subtle indications of its sporting nature.
A wide array of wheel designs adds the finishing touch to the new ES. The standard 17-inch wheel is a split five-spoke design with dark silver accents and a machined finish. A similar color scheme is used for the larger 18-inch 10-spoke wheel available with the Premium and Luxury packages. An additional 18-inch split five-spoke wheel design is available with the Luxury and Ultra Luxury packages that features a multi- spoke design with a high-gloss finish. The F SPORT model gets unique 19-inch wheels that are similar to those used on the LC and LS. The dual-spoke design is highlighted by a dark premium graphite coating that is also unique to the F SPORT.
A dozen colors make up the exterior paint palette including one new shade of green and a new shade of beige designed specifically for the ES. The latter is called Moonbeam Beige Metallic and was designed to mimic golden light reflecting off fresh snow, while the former, Sunlit Green, replicates the color of ocean water brightened by the sun. For the ES F SPORT, there are two exclusive colors available that reflect its high-energy design: Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0 is a vivid color that reflects both bright tones and darker shades depending on the viewing angle while Ultra White is a pure, bright shade of white that contrasts perfectly with the F SPORT’s dark trim.
The next chapter of ES
The 2019 Lexus ES ushers in a new era for one of the brand’s most popular models. Much like the flagship LS, the new ES sedan addresses the need to engage a broader range of customers.It delivers everything that traditional Lexus buyers expect along with elements that will draw in those who haven’t considered the brand before. More dynamic styling and performance, unique cabin materials assembled by the finest craftsmen and the latest technology add a chapter to the ES story.
The engineering team led by Yasuhiro Sakakibara was tasked with not only improving the performance of the Lexus ES, but transforming it. That required turning a sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness into one that is equally capable of delivering dynamic handling.According to Sakakibara, this ES was built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of performance than any of its predecessors.
“We knew that this ES had to feel responsive and easy to drive, no matter what kind of road it was on and that can only be achieved with a solid foundation.”That foundation is the newly developed GA-K chassis. It’s an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis made from several grades of high-strength steel. The GA-K chassis also incorporates far more structural adhesives than the previous ES chassis as well as the addition of laser screw welds. A total of 785 inches of adhesive is used throughout the structure, more than twice the amount (324 in.) used previously. Laser screw welding, a construction method shared with the LS sedan, is used in 120 locations throughout the GA-K chassis to further solidify the already robust structure. Additional measures are used to improve front-end stiffness including a strut tower brace, multiple reinforcement panels for the strut towers themselves and new radiator support braces.
Building an all-new structure also gave Sakakibara and his team the opportunity to address noise and vibrations at their source. Sound deadening insulation now covers 93 per cent of the floor pan (up from 68%) while underbody covers and front fender liners further reduce road noise. The installation of performance dampeners is used to reduce vibrations on all Ultra Luxury and F SPORT models. The chassis-mounted dampers absorb even the smallest instances of frame compression and/or flex to keep them from generating any resonances that might generate interior cabin noise.
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