Too bad the technology is only available in Japan.
Countless concepts have previewed a future where traditional side mirrors are replaced with cameras. But now it's actually a reality. Lexus introduced its new Digital Outer Mirrors system back in September, and now the technology is available for the 2019 ES sedan.
That makes it the first ever production car to be offered with digital side mirrors instead of traditional ones, beating the Audi e-tron by a few months. There is a catch, however – the technology is currently only available in Japan and cannot be used in the US due to strict safety regulations.
The Digital Outer Mirrors use two exterior cameras mounted on the front doors that display images on two five-inch displays located on each side of the cabin. Compared to traditional side mirrors, the cameras significantly improve visibility while also reducing wind noise. While it's a shame the 2019 Lexus ES won't be sold in the US with swanky camera mirrors, that doesn't mean you should ignore it.
Compared to its predecessor, the new revamped model looks significantly sleeker thanks to its sportier styling. Thanks to Toyota's new Global Architecture-K platform, the 2019 Lexus ES is also lighter despite being 2.6 inches longer and 1.8 inches wider than the outgoing model. As standard, the 2019 ES comes with Lexus Safety System 2.0, which includes a pre-collision auto-brake system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, lane tracing assist, intelligent high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, and road sign assist. All-in-all, it's a very attractive package.
US buyers can choose from two models: the ES 350 and the 300h. The former is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 delivering 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque via an eight-speed automatic, while the latter is motivated by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, which is the only option in Japan.