Lexus Malaysia has officially launched the 2013 Lexus ES in Malaysia – the sixth-generation sedan, which was introduced this morning at the Life Centre in KL, slots in between the sporty IS and the GS executive sedan, and Malaysia has the honour of being the first market in the region to introduce the right-hand drive version of the Toyota Avalon-based FWD luxury sedan.
As mentioned in earlier reports and revealed through photos of the brochure, the made-in-Japan ES, which offers the Camry crowd a means to move upscale without breaking the bank account, arrives in three variant forms – the ES 250, ES 250 Luxury and ES 300h hybrid. The ES 250s are powered by a 2AR-FE 2.5 litre Dual VVT-i twin-cam four-cylinder engine offering 181 hp at 6,000 rpm and 235 Nm of torque at 4,100 rpm.
The mill is mated to a six-speed Super ECT auto transmission with AI Shift, and performance specs include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 9.8 seconds and a 207 km/h top speed. Three drive modes are offered – Eco, Normal and Sport.
The Lexus ES 300h, meanwhile, is equipped with a 2AR-FXE 2.5 litre single VVT-i twin-cam Atkinson cycle four-cylinder unit, with output numbers from the unit being 158 hp at 5,700 rpm and 213 Nm at 4,500 rpm. It’s paired to a 105 kW electric motor that is fed by a 650V nickel-metal hydride battery, and total combined output is 202 hp.
Paired with an eCVT system, the ES 300h manages the 0-100 km/h dash in 8.5 seconds and has a 180 km/h top speed. It adds a fourth drive mode, EV, to the three seen in the ES250.
The ES measures in at 4.9 metres long, 1.82 metres wide and 1.45 metres tall, and has a 2,820 mm-long wheelbase and a kerb weight of 1,615 kg for the ES 250s and 1,705 kg for the ES 300h. Other numbers include a boot volume of 490 litres for the ES 250, and 425 litres for the ES 300h.
All variants wear 17-inch aluminium wheels and 215/55 tyres, but each gets a different wheel design – the ES 250 has a six twin-spoke wheel, while the ES 250 Luxury gets a ten twin-spoke unit, and the ES 300h features an aerodynamically optimised ten-spoke alloy.
The ES comes dressed in a wood and leather interior, and standard equipment includes LED DRLs, auto adjustable and folding door mirrors, puddle lamps, keyless entry/start, a sunroof (or as Lexus tags it, a moonroof), automatic rear sunshade, an eight-inch Electric Multi-Vision Screen and auto tri-zone air-con.
Other common kit to all three models is cruise control, 10-way power adjustment front seats, a Remote Touch Controller, reverse camera and Bluetooth connectivity.
The ES 250 comes dressed with smooth leather seats and halogen headlamps, while the ES 250 Luxury and ES 300h adds on semi-aniline leather and self-levelling HID headlamps with washers, as well as a sat-nav system and manual side window sunshades.
As for entertainment systems, both ES 250 versions are equipped with a Lexus Premium Audio eight-speaker, eight-channel Class D amplifier system, while the range-topping ES 300h gets a 12-channel, 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. It also adds Hill Start Assist to its kitbag.
Safety kit is standard across the range – 10 airbags (including driver and front passenger knee as well as front and rear seat-mounted side and curtain airbags) VSC, traction control, EBD, tyre pressure warning system and whiplash injury-lessening front seats.
Five colours are available for the ES, these being Straight Black Glass Flake, White Pearl Crystal Shine, Mercury Black Mica, Platinum Silver and Fire Agate Mica Metallic, along with three interior colour trims – black, ivory and light gray.
Pricing was announced last month when the order books were opened for the car, and are RM259,800 for the ES 250, RM279,800 for the ES 250 Luxury, and RM353,000 for the range-topping Lexus ES 300h hybrid, on-the-road excluding insurance. The Lexus ES comes with a three-year warranty.
With the launch of the ES, Lexus Malaysia is offering three-years free service and one-year free road tax with insurance to its first 200 ES customers. The company is planning to sell 100 units of the car by the end of this year, and is targeting sales of 600 units for 2014, which it says will account for 40% of the overall sales for the brand in the country.