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by Adam Lynton
The Toyota Camry’s corporate sister has been revised and a new hybrid variant added to the ES lineup.
Lexus has unveiled their all-new 2013 ES lineup, including its sixth-generation ES 350 and all-new ES 300h Hybrid. The 2013 ES sedan is certainly less bland than before, with the sleek-looking sedan incorporating the brand's latest design language and the new Lexus spindle grille treatment. Size-wise, the wheelbase has been lengthened by 1.8 inches and overall length by just one inch to create a more spacious interior. Knee room increases by 2.8 inches and legroom by 4.1 inches.
The designers went back to the drawing board for the cabin, which has seen a dramatic upgrade including a dashboard that closely resembles that in the new GS sedan with a seven-inch LCD screen and horizontal treatment. A Lexus Remote Touch Interface controller sits next to the gearshift in the center console, while the next-gen Lexus Enform system is also available, adding a backup camera, Bluetooth audio and vehicle information display. New seats get a leather-alternative NuLuxe covering or premium semi-aniline leather if preferred.
As the new ES, as usual, is based on the latest Toyota Camry's platform. It also uses the same 3.5-liter V6 with Dual VVT-I that sends power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Lexus claim the suspension and steering have been modified to improve handling and cut the curb weight by 90 pounds. So improved performance figures are expected. The new hybrid is effectively a better packaged Camry hybrid, powered by the same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine and an electric motor that delivers 40mpg combined city/highway. Lexus offers drivers four modes, namely Normal, Sport, Eco and EV.