Lexus’ top selling car is the ES 350. It actually outsells the rest of Lexus’ car sales combined. The only vehicle Lexus sells in North America more important is the RX 350. This coming year both of these vehicles will be launched as new generations.
Don’t expect big changes to the ES 350 or ES300h hybrid. Both models are proven winners. Lexus’ front-drive platform, V6 engine and automatic transmission are the best in the business in this size vehicle, and the company won’t mess with success. There is simply no reason to.
The look of the ES will continue to evolve. The front spindle grill and headlights will continue to move in the direction of the IS and GS, which both saw big sales increases when the look became more aggressive. Inside, Lexus will update the infotainment system and dash, but the overall trend will be very familiar to any Lexus owner.
More than likely Lexus will offer a new upscale trim, but it would be a big surprise, and mistake, is there was an F Sport variant of the new ES. The current ES still uses the old, but excellent six-speed automatic. We suspect that the new ES will move to the eight-speed that has now migrated from the IS F through the product line. We also expect that the 3.5-liter V6 will move to direct injection and be more like the RC 350’s 300+ motor. Both of these moves would be for fuel economy more than performance, but the car will be quicker, not that it needs to be.
The New ES 350 will be launched by Lexus April 20th.