Lexus pulled the veil off its new ES today at the New York International Auto Show. There will be two models offered, the ES 350 and ES 300h. The ES 350 is powered by a gasoline 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i that produces 268 bhp. It comes mated to Lexus’ electronically controlled transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) that’s been designed to deliver good performance, smoother shifts and improved fuel efficiency through use of low friction materials. The ES 300h is a hybrid version of the sedan that features a new low-friction VVT-i-equipped 2.5-liter inline-4 Atkinson-cycle engine that utilizes a sophisticated power management system and has a 12.5:1 compression ratio. This engine, combined with a beltless electric motor, is designed to improve fuel economy and durability, and a near zero evaporative fuel system helps reduce emissions. Power will be 200 hp combined. The ES 300h hybrid offers four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV, the last allowing short drives at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases performance and responsiveness. Lexus says the ES 300h will get 39/40 mpg city/highway.
The new ES ought to handle better than its predecessor, thanks to suspension and steering changes and a stiffer body. Opposite-wound coil springs on the front suspension enhance straight-line stability, while revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort. A reduction in the steering gear ratio delivers better steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and additional spot welds. Despite the car’s larger size, the weight of the new ES is reduced by almost 90 pounds.
The ES will be equipped with standard 215/55R-17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, and for the first time, available 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels.
The car’s exterior design adopts the new Lexus signature “spindle” grille, making it look remarkably similar to the new GS sedan, but this isn’t a bad thing. The new ES features a lower, progressive profile and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior. Look for the new ES to reach dealer showrooms in August of this year.
It's no secret that Lexus is a division of Toyota and that many of its vehicles are based on more plebian Toyota products. So it stands to reason that when a new Toyota model bows, its Lexus equivalent will soon follow suit. Such is the case with the new ES 350. Based on the new Toyota Camry introduced last year, the all-new 2013 ES builds on this proven platform with oodles of luxury features and the refinement you'd expect from a Lexus. Now in its sixth generation, the new ES features edgier styling outside and standard NuLuxe synthetic leather inside. The real stuff is also available, as are a number of luxury option packages. Feeling green? Then go for the new Lexus ES 300h hybrid, for an EPA estimated 40 mpg city/39 mpg highway.
The BMW 335i delivers a special mix of sporting performance, practicality and European luxury in a compact package. It's the car that defines 'sport sedan', and the benchmark every luxury car maker from Acura to Volvo aims at when it develops an entry-level luxury sport sedan.
The rear-wheel drive 335i is available in coupe, sedan and convertible bodies, while the xDrive all-wheel drive system is available in coupe only. Power is provided by a 3.0-liter, turbo, inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all variations, with a six-speed automatic transmission optional. Standard safety features include six airbags, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with adaptive brakelights, traction and stability control, active anti-whiplash head restraints, as well as automatic pop-up roll-over protection on the convertible.
For 2013, the coupe and cabriolet remain unchanged on the E90 platform; the F30 sedan, which was all-new for 2012, adds xDrive to the line-up.
Lamborghini is celebrating its history of building exciting sports cars with the introduction of the Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni. Balboni is the legendary test driver hired by the company’s founder Ferruccio Lamborghini. He has been in every Lamborghini prototype and production car since 1973. The special Gallardo Balboni comes exclusively in rear-wheel-drive form, with chassis and suspension tuned to allow a more dynamic handling character as compared to the all-wheel-drive models. The exterior of the Balboni is distinguished by white and gold stripes running the length of the car. The interior is also unique with mostly black leather upholstery again contrasted by white trim and stripes, and a badge bearing Valentino Balboni’s signature. Only 250 Balbonis will be built. The rest of the Gallardo models remain mostly unchanged.
The Dodge Challenger is a modern interpretation of the classic American muscle car. Unlike the unrefined pony cars of yesteryear, the Challenger features the fuel efficiency, safety, handling, technology and build quality expected in a contemporary coupe.
The Challenger is available in three trims: base, R/T and SRT8. The base trim is powered by a new 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The R/T's 5.7-liter HEMI V8 features 372 horsepower with the standard 5-speed automatic with sequential shift control, and 376 horsepower with the optional 6-speed manual. The SRT8's 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine is mated to a standard 5-speed automatic with sequential shift control or an optional 6-speed manual, and produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Touring suspension, traction control, stability control, 17-inch alloy wheels, KeylessGo entry system, air conditioning and power driver's seat are standard equipment on the base trim, and the R/T adds performance-tuned suspension and steering, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a body color spoiler. The SRT8 features sport suspension with two-mode active dampening, Brembo brakes, limited slip differential, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, high-intensity headlights, dual hood stripes, heated leather seats, rear parking sensors and a Boston Acoustic sound system. The SRT8 Core trim is a back-to-basics version of the SRT8, with a single-mode Bilstein suspension, black cast alloy wheels, halogen headlights, black grille, black spoiler, premium cloth seats and black Brembo brake calipers. Optional equipment includes a multimedia infotainment system with 30-gigabyte hard drive and navigation system, sunroof, and performance tires.