|Photos courtesy of Lexus Press|
The ES350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i that delivers 272 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 346 Nm. of peak torque at 4,700. The six-speed gate type sequential-shift automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) provides enhanced driving performance, fuel efficiency and smooth shifts. Low friction materials further improve efficiency and help with the ES350‘s EPA-fuel economy estimates of 8.9 km/L city, 13.2 km/L highway and 10.2 km/L combined. The ES350 features a Drive Mode selector. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain and steering responsiveness.
Suspension changes, a stiffer body and a quicker steering gear ratio deliver more precise handling in the new 2012 Lexus ES. The front suspension employs opposite-wound coil springs to help enhance straight-line stability. Revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort. The steering gear ratio has been reduced from 16.1:1 to 14.8:1 to help deliver a more responsive and direct steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and more spot welds. Airflow is smoothed beneath the vehicle, improving stability and fuel economy, and reducing drag. The ES is equipped with standard 215/55R17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.
An array of standard and available safety features aid the driver. The ES features a class-leading 10 airbags as standard equipment, including driver and front passenger knee, front and seatmounted air bags, as well as rear seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags. Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are designed to limit excessive head movement in certain rear-end collisions, helping to decrease the severity of whiplash-type injuries.
The new ES will feature enhanced NuLuxe seating surfaces, developed to help reduce environmental impact. Interiors are available in Black, Light Gray, and Ivory. Trim color and material for the ES is Espresso Bird’s-eye Maple. The standard Lexus Premium Sound System features eight-speakers with Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL), in-dash CD player, USB/iPod connectivity, Bluetooth audio, phone transfer and a vehicle information display.
The new ES features a lower profile and clean styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by one inch, resulting in shorter overhangs and a more spacious interior. The new ES bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille. The “L” design motif is reflected in the LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia. The ES350 sports dual exhaust pipes.
The ES features enhanced sight lines and visibility, logically placed controls, and new cabin materials that express a high level of craftsmanship. The modern interior has been designed to provide a sense of openness and security. Greater rear seat legroom and knee room are the hallmark of the redesigned, more spacious passenger cabin. Rear headroom is increased by 0.8 inches, knee room is increased by 2.8 inches and legroom is lengthened by 4.1 inches. Additional foot room below the front seats enhances rear passenger comfort. A newly sculptured 8-way adjustable power seat is standard on all ES models. In addition, the steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position. The cockpit features separate display and operation zones to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The instrument panel, with its long, layered look, places the main information display directly in the driver’s line of sight, supplemented by a center-mounted monochrome multi-information display screen. Below the center display is a self-illuminating LED analog clock. “The ES has always been a customer favorite and a key model for Lexus,” said Templin. “A tremendous effort was put into the all-new ES350 to ensure that our one million eagerly awaiting ES customers would be more than pleased.”
The 2012 Lexus ES 350 is priced at Php 3,338,000.