With the recently overhauled IS killed by new Australian design rules, Lexus has broadened its 2022 ES line-up to plug the gap.
Lexus Australia has revealed comprehensive specification details (though remains tight-lipped on actual pricing) for its facelifted 2022 ES range ahead of its official on-sale on September 29.
Biggest news from a mechanical perspective is the arrival of a new ES250 non-hybrid variant, sharing its 152kW/243Nm 2.5-litre direct-injection four cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission with the recently updated Toyota Camry and range-topping RAV4 Edge.
While Lexus is pushing the ES250 as a slightly sportier and more agile alternative to the 160kW ES300h hybrid model (at 1680kg, the ES250 is 60kg lighter), it’s no coincidence that the ES250’s arrival is neatly timed with the departure of the entire Lexus IS range.
Along with the CT200h hatch and RC coupe, the IS sedan doesn’t meet the new ADR85 side-impact regulation that comes into effect on November 1, meaning the rear-drive IS will be benched until a new-generation model – to be developed as a joint venture with the next Mazda 6 – launches around 2023.
With the arrival of the 250 model, the ES line-up expands from three variants to five. The ES250 will be offered in Luxury and F-Sport trim levels, while the ES300h hybrid will continue to be available in Luxury, F-Sport and fully loaded Sports Luxury guises.
The ES250 Luxury’s headline features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with auto high-beam, LED tail-lights, keyless entry/start, a sunroof, heated 10-way electric front seats with either black or new hazel-coloured upholstery, 10-speaker audio with sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and 10 airbags.
Features new to the 2022 ES include a larger 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen that has been repositioned for easier access, dual-zone climate control with ‘Nanoe X’ ionisation technology, Lexus Connected Services, emergency steering assist (to provide assistance if you haven’t applied enough lock to avoid an obstacle) and intersection assist with turning assistance (to avoid turning into oncoming traffic).
An optional Enhancement Pack adds wireless phone charging, a head-up display, a smart-key card, rear privacy glass and a pair of USB-C chargers for rear seat passengers.
The ES300h Luxury spec mirrors the ES250 with Enhancement Pack but adds a rear spoiler, a power-adjustable steering column and active noise control, as well as the CVT-equipped hybrid drivetrain with slightly quicker 0-100km/h time (8.9sec versus 9.1) and superior fuel efficiency (4.8L/100km versus 6.6).
The ES300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack adds 18-inch alloys, ventilated front seats, 12-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory, panoramic view monitor, rear sunshades, power back door with kick sensor, and extra trim choices (hazel, mauve, black or cream upholstery; black walnut or brown walnut trim).
In addition to what the ES250 Luxury offers, the ES250 F-Sport gains 19-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlights with new BladeScan technology, F-Sport performance suspension with additional bracing, power back door kick sensor, rear sunshades, aluminium trim, an 8.0-inch driver display, a panoramic view monitor, ventilated front seats and a 12-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory.
The 300h F-Sport version adds selectable Drive Modes and re-tuned adaptive variable suspension, with an Enhancement Pack adding a heated steering wheel and 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio.
The 300h Sports Luxury includes semi-aniline leather upholstery, a choice of bamboo ornamentation, a heated steering wheel, the Mark Levinson audio, tri-zone climate control, power-adjustable/reclining/heated outer rear seats and a rear armrest with air-con, audio, heating, sunshade and seat controls.
All facelifted 2022 Lexus ES models also feature a strengthened dual-sheet structure for the rear suspension to improve torsional rigidity and dynamic performance, as well as new wheel designs and restyled front and rear lighting signatures.
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