Lexus Shows the Revised, 2022 ES

Wes Raynal
·3 min read
Photo credit: Lexus
Photo credit: Lexus
  • Lexus’ new ES sedan is updated inside and out, replacing both the outgoing ES and the discontinued GS.

  • Changes include new touch-screen functions, new LED headlamps, and a new F-Sport hybrid available in some areas.

  • The car is being shown at the Shanghai show.

Lexus refreshed its ES just last August, adding all-wheel drive and growing the car a couple inches. Now comes another refresh, with lightly restyled headlights and some multimedia updates. The F-Sport model gets a new handling package and there will be an F-Sport hybrid in what Lexus calls “select regions.” Lexus officials told Autoweek that “select regions” means the 300h F-Sport is going to be “available in Western states for 2022.

“We are always studying consumer preferences and demand,” a Lexus official told us, adding that in certain regions of the country hybrid powertrains make more sense.

Lexus says that with the added variety, “the ES family continues to offer Lexus guests choices to fit their diverse interests and lifestyles.”

The exterior changes include a revised grille, while the biggest change inside is that the standard 8.0-inch and optional 12.3-inch color multimedia displays have been moved forward 4.3 inches. They also now have touch-screen functionality in addition to the remote touch interface. Lexus officials told Autoweek that the powertrains are carryover. That means the ES 250 AWD has a 2.5-liter four making 203 hp and returning 28 mpg, the best of all gas-powered ES sedans. The AWD system can send up to 50 percent of the power to the rear when needed, and when not needed, it electromagnetically decouples the prop shaft to save fuel. Lexus says the DTC AWD does not impede on legroom, trunk room, ride comfort, cabin quietness or vehicle agility.

All ES 350s have the company’s 3.5-liter V6 making 302 hp and 267 lb-ft or torque. Variable valve timing and direct injection allow the engine to operate either on the traditional Otto cycle during sporty driving or the more efficient Atkinson cycle when less power is needed.

The ES 300h hybrid has a different 2.5-liter four, only running the Atkinson cycle, delivering 215 hp. The car uses a lithium-ion battery as opposed to the nickel-metal hybrid battery from the previous car. That battery has also been relocated to underneath the back seat freeing up trunk space and improving front-to-rear weight balance. The hybrid again uses a CVT and is only offered in front-wheel drive.

The F-Sport hybrids have F-Sport badges, a darker grille surround, truck lid spoiler, 19-inch wheels with a new black finish and unique steering wheel, front seats, pedals, shift lever and knob.

On all models the rear suspension now includes a brace for more torsional rigidity, handling stability, and ride comfort, according to Lexus. On non-hybrid models, the brake master cylinder and booster have been modified for a more-linear pedal feel. Lexus says the hybrid’s electronic regen brakes have also been updated for improved pedal feel.

ES350 F-Sport models will offer an optional dynamic handling package that includes Sport+ and Custom drive modes and adaptive variable suspension.

Updated safety goodies on all ES models include a revised Pre-Collision System (PCS), now with an enhanced camera and radar to expand the response range. PCS now includes emergency steering assist (ESA), designed to enhance vehicle stability during an emergency evasive maneuver, as well as dynamic cruise control, which keeps distance from other vehicles down to 0 mph and can resume from a stop.

Lexus officials told Autoweek that pricing will be announced closer to the on sale date, with the cars arriving in dealerships this fall. For reference, today’s ES line starts at $40,000.

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