Lexus ES is coming for the first time to Malaysian market, making the Lexus product portfolio more complete than ever in our country. Combined with the expansion of sales centre, Lexus is set to increase its presence in Malaysia. Those not in the know, Lexus ES is the front-drive model within the line-up, targeting different kind of buyer from the usual rear wheel driven Lexus. Based on Toyota Avalon platform, the version coming to Malaysia is ES250 and ES300h. Typical in Lexus Malaysia fashion, the pure gasoline version will be differentiated by Standard and Luxury.
Lexus ES250 is 4,895mm long, 1,820mm wide and 1,450mm tall. It sits on a 2,820mm wheelbase, which is similar to Toyota Avalon which it is based on. From the source, the Malaysian version will be powered by Dual VVT-i 2.5L 4-banger churning out 181bhp@6,000rpm and 235Nm@4,100rpm, driving the front wheel via 6 speed automatic transmission. The engine spec is uncannily similar to our 2.5L top-range Camry. The other version is ES300h, powered by Atkinson-cycled 2.5L mill hooked up to electric motor, giving a combined output of 202bhp.
How will Lexus position the ES250 model? In US, for a comparable 3.5L engine, Lexus ES350 is priced lower than IS350, as it occupies the lower rung of Lexus product and previously has a very close resemblance with the donor Toyota vehicle. Will we see it priced just slightly more than the premium CT200h? We can't get the un-taxed price for the hybrid though as the engine displaced more than 2.0L.