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Beijing: 2019 Lexus ES

by Justin King

The next-generation ES has been deemed worthy of an F Sport edition.

Lexus has brought the next-generation ES to Beijing for its first public appearance.

Like many of its peers, the seventh-generation ES shifts toward a lower, wider and longer shape with a longer wheelbase and wider track. The revised proportions are credited with helping designers achieve a more provocative yet elegant look, with a low hood and fast roofline.

Built upon the all-new Global Architecture - K platform (GA-K), the new ES rivals the LC coupe and LS sedan in terms of torsional rigidity. Engineers were instructed to transform the nameplate's image beyond its previous reputation for comfort and quietness, adding an equal focus on competent handling and power and pleasing exhaust acoustics.

"We want every kind of driver to feel a sense of complete control when they are behind the wheel of the ES," explains Lexus chief test driver Yoshiaki Ito. "It's a level of comfort that goes beyond merely delivering a smooth ride."

All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, adding 34 ponies and 19 pound-feet over the previous-generation V6. Power is delivered via a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission.

Further elevating the ES' performance credentials, the nameplate will finally be available in F Sport trim with adaptive suspension and more aggressive engine and transmission mapping.

For buyers more concerned with fuel efficiency, the new ES 300h hybrid steps down to 215 total system horsepower and jumps to an estimated 44-mpg combined rating.

The 2019 ES is expected to arrive in showrooms by September.