New Car

Refreshed 2022 Lexus ES debuts with new infotainment setup, new hybrid F Sport option

The Lexus ES has been refreshed for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Lexus ES is the middle ground of the company's sedan lineup, offering luxe appointments, high-tech features, and predictable drivability. For 2022, much of that is unchanged. For this mid-cycle refresh, Lexus has given the model more of what customers like most without compromising the nature of the car.

Designers have given the new car a fresh exterior. All trim levels except the ES F Sport get a new grille. The fresh mesh pattern features a series of concentric "L" shapes and is finished in Graphite-colored paint. The bi-LED headlamps have been redesigned and are standard with dynamic auto-leveling functionality.

2022 Lexus ES 350 F Sport

2022 Lexus ES 350 F Sport

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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New standard 17-inch wheels feature thicker spoke ends and are layered in "V" formations. Base and Luxury trims are available with 18-inch wheels that features a split-10-spoke design with a two-tone black and machined finish. Buyers also have the option of getting 18-inch five-spoke alloy noise reduction wheels on their Luxury and Ultra Luxury models. ES F Sport cars get exclusive 19-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels finished in black paint.

Lexus has made a number of driving and handling changes to the ES, including a new rear suspension member brace that is designed to improve torsional rigidity, stability, and comfort. The car has an enlarged brake pedal on all trim levels. On gasoline-powered ES models, the brake system has been recalibrated for better feeling and response. Regenerative brakes on the ES hybrid have also been re-optimized.

The 2022 Lexus ES will be offered in a new ES 300h F SPORT trim level in select regions. This model will give buyers the combination of efficiency and dynamic performance. It will be sold alongside the existing ES 250 AWD and ES 350 F Sport models.

2022 Lexus ES 250

2022 Lexus ES 250

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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The new version of the car will feature F Sport badging, mesh grille with dark surround, trunk lid spoiler, unique 19-inch wheels with new Black finish, steering wheel, front seats, pedals, shift lever and knob, and gauges with a removable display ring.

Buyers who opt for the ES 350 F Sport can get their model with the new Dynamic Handling Package, which includes Sport+ and Custom drive modes, park assist, and an adaptive variable suspension.

Lexus will offer the car in 11 paint colors for the new year including Eminent White Pearl, Obsidian, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Moonbeam Beige Metallic, Sunlit Green, Nightfall Mica, Ultra White (F Sport only), Ultrasonic Blue 2.0 (F Sport only), Iridium, and Cloudburst Gray.

Base ES models come equipped with a NuLuxe-trimmed cabin in the buyer's choice of Black, Acorn, or Palomino paired with black striated wood trim accents. ES Luxury and Ultra Luxury models get semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats in Black, Acorn, or Rich Cream, paired with black open pore wood trim. The Palomino interior will be paired with matte walnut open pore wood trim accents. F SPORT ES models come with Black, Circuit Red, or White NuLuxe-trimmed upholstery that is paired with Hadori Aluminum accents.

2022 Lexus ES 300h F Sport

2022 Lexus ES 300h F Sport

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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The car's cabin now features a standard 8.0-inch or an available 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen. The screens sit 4.3 inches closer to center of the car allowing for easier touch functionality. The car also gets a more streamlined instrument panel.

The automaker will make Lexus Safety System 2.5+ (LSS 2.5+) standard on all ES models for the 2022 model year. The safety system includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and bicyclist detection. Intersection turning assist is new works to minimize forward collisions in intersections. Emergency steering assist is also new and is designed to keep a vehicle stable during an emergency evasive steering maneuver.

Adaptive cruise control can be activated at over 30 mph. LSS 2.5+ introduces curve speed reduction technology, which can automatically reduce vehicle speed, if needed, on certain types of curves.

2022 Lexus ES details

2022 Lexus ES details headlight

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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Lane departure alert, automatic high beams, road sign assist, and lane tracing assist technology also come with the system.

Information regarding the car's MSRP, options, and exterior, and interior color choices will be made closer to the car's arrival at dealerships this autumn.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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