But is it good enough to stay ahead of the Germans?
Lexus reveals special editions of its cars all the time. Take for example the recent and stunning new crossover concept called the LF-Z. It's a promising exercise in design, but until that car gets the green light, we're awaiting the arrival of the new Lexus ES that was teased exactly a week ago. Now we have the full picture and it looks sharper than ever, especially with the F Sport grille. But as impressive as those jagged headlights look, Lexus will have to do more than just restyle the car to keep its sales lead over Mercedes and Audi, so what else has changed?
For starters, Lexus says that the cabin is better than ever. The standard eight-inch and optional 12.3-inch infotainment displays now sit 4.3 inches closer and features touch functionality, enabling easier control of the system. The instrument panel has also been redesigned to be more streamlined. Lexus says that the driver aids have been updated to respond more quickly too, while Intersection Turning Assist is a new addition, as is Emergency Steering Assist. The adaptive cruise control system has been refined as well, now boasting Curve Speed Reduction, while Lane Tracing Assist is better at recognizing the lines and edges of the road.
As for handling, the ES gets a new rear suspension member brace for better torsional rigidity, handling stability, and ride comfort. Lexus says both gas and hybrid versions of the car feature a braking system with better pedal feel and response. A new F Sport variant is available too, in the form of the ES300h F Sport.
Unique badges, a mesh grille with a dark surround, a trunk spoiler, black 19-inch wheels, and bespoke gauges are joined by a new steering wheel, front seats, pedals, and gear lever. The ES 350 F Sport also gets upgraded with a new handling package including Sport+ and Custom drive modes, park assist, and adaptive suspension.
The ES line gets new colors for 2022 including White Pearl, Obsidian, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Moonbeam Beige Metallic, Sunlit Green, and Nightfall Mica. Exclusive to F Sport models are Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue, while the cabin is now available in Iridium and Cloudburst Gray, which replace Silver Lining, Atomic Silver, and Nebula Gray.
Details on pricing, options, and other variables will be released closer to the car's launch, with the production vehicle expected in dealerships later this fall. The car looks great and boasts a number of significant updates, but we are a little underwhelmed. We'll have to wait for our first drive.