First seen at the Beijing show in April, the seventh-generation ES will be the first version of the car to be sold in Europe when it arrives in showrooms in January 2019.
Prices for the ES start at £35,150, almost £1,000 cheaper than the slow-selling GS model that it replaces. The newcomer is charged with earning Lexus a larger slice of the market currently dominated by the BMW 5 Series.
Built on the new Lexus Global Architecture, known as the K platform, the ES is said to offer a strong package of dynamic design, engaging driving performance and efficient self-charging hybrid power. More impressive handling characteristics are seen as essential if it is to dent the BMW’s sales performance.
All versions are powered by a hybrid drivetrain combining a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for a total power output of 215hp. Lexus quotes combined cycle fuel economy at 60mpg.
Three models will be offered to UK buyers – the ES at £35,150, ES F Sport at £38,150 and a new trim level, the Takumi, costing from £45,650. Takumi is a Japanese word associated with master craftsmanship.
Entry-level standard specifications will include the second generation of the Lexus Safety System+ suite of active safety and driver aids, 17-inch alloy wheels, navigation with an eight-inch display, DAB radio, parking sensors, heated electrically adjustable seats and a sunroof.
Those buying the top Takumi version will enjoy such luxuries as heated reclining rear seats, a Mark Levinson surround sound audio system, triple-on air conditioning, a 360-degree proximity camera viewed through the centre console’s 12.3-inch display, power bootlid with a hands-free kick sensor and triple-eye LED adaptive headlamps.