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August 21, 2020

You Can Do This in a 2021 Lexus ES (But You Shouldn't)

With its Toyota platform mate, the Avalon getting available all-wheel drive, it’s quite surprising it took Lexus this long to announce an all-wheel drive variant of its mid-sized sedan offering, the ES. Well, better late than never, we suppose.

For 2021, the Lexus ES will be offered with an all-wheel drive system for increased confidence even in inclement weather. The Dynamic Torque Control AWD as Lexus calls it, can provide effective traction, while minimizing AWD’s typical drag on fuel economy. The system can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, in response to acceleration from a start or slippage at the front wheels.

When AWD isn’t needed, the electromagnetic controlled coupling on the rear drive axle can disengage the propeller shaft to help prioritize fuel efficiency. The AWD is designed to re-engage in an instant, when needed, and its operation is transparent to the driver and passengers.

Lexus says, the addition of AWD does not affect legroom, trunk room, ride comfort, cabin quietness or vehicle agility. Inside, the car has the same rear seat hip point height as the front-wheel drive ES.

Sadly, this AWD system can only be paired with one engine: the 203-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4 (ES 250 AWD). This lessens the chances of seeing an all-wheel drive ES for the Philippine market since the current Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) only exempts vehicles with a displacement of 3,000-cc and above from payment of duties.

It’s Lexus Philippines’s very own parent company, Toyota Motor Philippines that strongly lobbied to keep the 20 percent duties for vehicles with displacements calling below three liters to product local manufacturing.

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