Lexus has given its most popular sedan a makeover for 2007. Based once again on the Toyota Camry, which itself was just redesigned, the new ES (which goes on sale on April) is roomier, more powerful, and laden with more luxury items than ever. The styling is the biggest point of departure from the previous model, whose rotund shape has been ditched in favor of a more creased, angular look. Under the hood, the standard V-6 grows from 3.3 to 3.5 liters, and power output jumps to 272 hp, with 254 lb-ft of torque. The new V-6 sends its power through a six-speed automatic to the front wheels. Lexus has ramped up the luxury quotient of this car, with new options such as a glass roof, an even-softer-than-standard leather upholstery upgrade, a rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and swiveling headlamps. New standard equipment includes keyless ignition, seventeen-inch wheels, stability control, traction control, and eight air bags. Although the new Camry offers the option of a hybrid powertrain, Lexus has no immediate plans to put one in the ES350. With the company just now adding a hybrid option to the GS sedan and readying a hybrid for its upcoming new LS, the ES must wait its turn. When the time comes for an ES hybrid, though, it won't use the Camry's four-cylinder system, but would use a six-cylinder gasoline engine, in keeping with Lexus's plan to emphasize performance with its hybrids, rather than focusing on ultimate fuel economy.
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