A mysterious prototype for what’s believed to be the next-generation Lexus ES sedan has been spied testing near the Nurburgring in Germany.
Not much is known about this tester, but to our eye, it looks as though it’s an all-new Lexus ES based on the 2018 Toyota Camry’s updated platform. The current ES, which has been with us since 2012, is riding on the outgoing Camry’s architecture. It seems imminent that Toyota will make a new ES based on the latest version of the Camry, then, and we get the feeling this prototype is it.
With how similar the two are in size, it’s also possible this is a prototype for a next-generation Lexus GS, as other outlets are reporting. However, rumors point to Lexus killing off the rear-wheel drive GS, with the front-wheel drive ES continuing on as the brand’s only mid-size four-door. This would make the most financial sense, as the ES shares a platform with a more widely produced model and is thus cheaper to produce. Additionally, with the GS gone, Lexus won’t have to worry about its two mid-size offerings stepping on each other’s toes.
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The heavily camouflaged prototype doesn’t give us much to work with. The front end appears vaguely Toyota-like, while out back we see a trunk lid with a subtle integrated lip spoiler. A vaguely sporty rear bumper is also seen and is joined by a set of dual exhaust tips.
The next-generation Lexus ES could be set to arrive by as early as next year.
Update: Sources indicate this vehicle is a prototype for neither the Lexus ES or Lexus GS, but for the Toyota Crown sedan. The Crown, which is developed mainly for the Japanese market, is a full-size four-door that shares its rear-wheel drive platform with the Lexus GS.