Published on April 20th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
New Lexus ES and RX 200 T unveiled at Auto Shanghai
Lexus has always had a little difficulty when it came to fighting in the luxury car segment. Despite working hard to make their offerings competitive in terms of dynamics and features, it always lacked that perceived value that only German models seemed to possess. But despite this, there has always been one model that sold remarkably well: the Lexus RX, or the Toyota Harrier.
It’s hard to say if the model was popular because it blended luxury with a quickly growing market segment, or the fact that it promised Japanese reliability with a sleek alternative to the soccer-mom’s van. Whatever it was, the RX seemed to sell and become synonymous with high-end family cars.
It’s evolved over the years and developed with each passing generation, and this latest iteration looks fantastic. It takes the slightly pudgy shape of the previous generation and sharpens out the lines, adding heavy contrast with the window lines. On the whole it looks like a more mature Lexus NX, with more space to boot.
The 200T variant also follows on from the NX 200 T, effectively replacing the RX 270 variant in the range. This turbo engine will quickly spread through Lexus’ product range, so expect it to show up in a number of models. Highly advanced and extremely modern, it boasts great tractability and great efficiency, and it will be interesting to see what it can do in a performance oriented application.
As for the new ES, this is another model that saw remarkable popularity, despite not being one of the core models of the Lexus range. In certain regards the ES is more of a rebadge exercise, but Lexus engineers will tell you that there is far more to the mid-sized luxury sedan than a few new bumpers and a new interior.
The Lexus ES progressed into being an engineering effort on it’s own, and while it may share it’s underpinnings with a Toyota, it has tolerances and quality standards far higher than the average mass-market car. The engines in particular with the models in our market were built to higher specifications on Japanese ground, and were inherently smoother than the Thai-manufactured engines of the same design.
This new model is more a facelift than anything, but in terms of engineering efforts, the Lexus engineers have reinforced the chassis for improved rigidity. For the Shanghai market the interior gets a larger entertainment unit among other bits and bobs, all of which may vary from market to market, but on the whole this new ES is a re-styled, more aggressive looking ES that we all know and love.