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Teased last week, the facelifted Lexus ES has been unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2015 today. The Toyota Avalon-based full-size sedan gets a new front fascia, some minor interior and chassis updates, a new engine for selected markets and a suite of new active safety systems.

Clear to see is the sharp new face that adds a healthy dollop of aggression. The headlights have been reshaped with more prominent L-shaped LED daytime running lights, while the signature Lexus spindle grille is wider here and gets a thicker chrome surround and slats along its entire length (the outgoing car has a thick body-coloured bar that runs across the middle). The fog light surrounds have also been redesigned.

The rear sees a smaller set of improvements – the tail lights get redesigned internal graphics with L-shaped light guides, and the number plate recess receives a new X-shaped chrome garnish that connects the tail lights. Certain models also get rectangular exhaust outlets, and there are two new 17-inch wheel designs with directional spokes (20 spokes for non-hybrids, 10 spokes for hybrids).

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Inside, there’s a new, sportier three-spoke steering wheel, a redesigned gear lever with a leather boot, a larger 4.2-inch TFT LCD colour multi-info display, improved interior trim, embossed seat upholstery and a new “Enter” button for the mouse-like Remote Touch Interface (RTI).

The colour and trim palette has also been revised – the paint choices now include Amber, Nightfall Mica, Caviar and Eminent White Pearl alongside the current six, while the cabin now receives four colour choices (Flaxen, Parchment, Stratus Grey and Black), three trim materials (leather, semi-aniline leather, Lexus NuLuxe) and four interior trim choices (Illustrious Piano Black, Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Espresso Bird’s Eye Maple with Shimamoku ornamentation and Bamboo with a new matte finish).


Under the skin, the structure has been reinforced for improved ride and handling, while a sound-deadening layer has been added behind the dashboard for better noise insulation. China, Russia and Taiwan also get a new 2.0 litre direct-injected engine (likely the same D4-S VVT-iW mill as on the facelifted Camry) – other markets receive the same 2.5 litre four-pot, 3.5 litre V6 and 2.5 hybrid powertrains as before.

With the facelift, the ES also gets the Lexus Safety System + suite that made its debut on the new RX. This includes vehicle- and pedestrian-detecting Pre-Collision System (PCS) emergency braking, Lane Departure Alert, automatic high beam and radar cruise control.