2019 Lexus ES gets new F Sport trim, Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay
27 April 2018 - Autoblog
"Alexa," I say out loud. A chime goes off in the all-new 2019 Lexus ES acknowledging the wake word. I ask what the weather is going to be like tomorrow, and after a brief pause, the voice made famous from Amazon's Super Bowl campaign replies, informing me of the cloud conditions and the temperatures for the next day based on my current GPS location.
Although the ability to order paper towels from the comfort of a car wasn't quite ready for prime time (I tried), the future is nigh.
While Lexus was unveiling the seventh-generation ES on the global stage that is the Beijing Motor Show, simultaneously in Los Angeles, a more intimate gathering of journalists was held and the wraps were pulled off an ES 350 and the ES F Sport. Not present was the ES 300h hybrid variant.
In all, 2,000 components are either new or have been revised on the 2019 ES, which utilizes the larger GA-K chassis variation of Toyota's new global TNGA platform. Utilized on the 2018 Toyota Camry and 2019 Avalon, it's the first time the luxury brand has put the new front-wheel-drive platform to use. Standing 2.6 inches longer, 0.2 inches lower, 1.8 inches wider with wider tracks (0.4-inch front, 1.5 inch rear), and having a 2-inch longer wheelbase than the model it replaces, Lexus says the dimensions have been stretched to improve handling(for some reference, you can see how the similarly sized new Avalon compares to the last-generation ES). Another benefit is rear seat legroom, which is actually greater than that of the flagship LS sedan.
All new ES models will roll out of Toyota's Kentucky plant with aluminum hoods and front fenders, and high-tensile steel to save on weight. Thanks to efforts such as those, the preliminary curb weight for the new, larger ES 350 is 3,649 pounds, a 78-pound increase from the current.
The ES models on display both employ a new 8-speed automatic transmission mated to the same 3.5-liter V6 found in the Camry and Avalon. In the ES it produces 302 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, a jump in 34 hp and 19 lb-ft of torque from the current ES 350. Preliminary fuel economy figures are 26 mpg combined (22 city / 33 highway), a bump up from 24 combined (21 city / 30 highway).
The ES 300h will also share its hybrid powertrain with the Avalon, consisting of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder aided by two electric motors (one for propulsion and another that serves as a motor generator). The current ES only has one electric motor. Total system output is 215 horsepower. Fuel economy numbers weren't available, but something akin to the Avalon's 43 mpg combined seems likely.