Introducing the All-New 2013 Lexus ES 300h
The first Lexus ES was introduced over 20 years ago and the sixth generation, revamped 2013 Lexus ES 350 along with the all-new 2013 ES 300h officially debuted earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show. With a lower, wider and longer body, spindle grille and clean front-to-back lines, the car’s overhauled aesthetics is sure to catch one’s eye; but the promise of a combined 40 mpg in the hybrid model will definitely hold one’s attention.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system features the highly efficient 2.5 liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine that’s augmented with battery power throughout the powertrain, a consideration that is especially noticeable on the high and low ends. The result is a sedan with solid pickup and sporty responsiveness, achieving 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 8.1 seconds. Expected EPA fuel economy ratings are approximately 40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 39 mpg combined.
Equipped with an electric water pump, electric power steering, and an integrated hybrid electric motor/generator, this engine does not require accessory belts. The beltless design helps improve fuel economy and overall reliability. Engine-only power output is 156 hp (116 kW) @5,700 rpm, with 156 lb-ft (212 N-m) @ 4,500 rpm. The ES 300h generates 200 total horsepower (149 kW).
The ES 300h can be driven in Sport, Normal, Eco and EV (Electric Vehicle) modes, the last of which is a battery-only experience for low-speed driving under 25 mph and the car automatically exits EV mode when it accelerates. The digital dashboard combines a speedometer alongside a dial that gives conscientious drivers immediate feedback on their fuel usage. Turning to Sport mode, the visualization adjusts to display a tachometer.
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 combined rear lamps. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia. The ES 300h features an exclusive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated rear spoiler. Other details specific to the hybrid include unique blue badging and exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels.
The instrument panel places the main information display directly in the driver’s sightline, supplemented by a centre-mounted 3.5-inch color TFT multi-information display screen or available navigation and multimedia system. Below the center display is a self-illuminating LED analog clock.
The second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller located on the centre console. RTI also reduces eye and hand movement, helping to decrease effort and distraction.
Overall, the Lexus ES 300h maintains a luxury feel with details that have filtered down from Lexus’ costlier models. The contrast white hand-stitching on the dash, wheel, and haptic control, the bamboo for the wheel and door panel trim, as well as sound deadening material in the windshield which makes for a quiet ride, enhancing the supremely hi-fi Mark Levinson sound system.
While hybrids have a reputation for sacrificing performance, the sedan is a fun daily driver with great fuel economy and affordable pricing. The enhancements, combined with the updated looks are sure to be attractive to potential buyers. Expected to arrive in showrooms August 2012, contact Lexus Santa Monica to have one of our sales consultants notify you as soon as it does.