2019 Lexus ES Launches In Japan Complete With Digital Mirrors

Lexus recently introduced the all-new ES in the North American market, and did the same in Paris for Europe. Now it’s officially brought the new luxury sedan back home to roost – and with it, the world’s first digital sideview cameras in a production car.

The ES is the model that, alongside the larger LS sedan, launched Lexus into the luxury automobile segment in the first place back in 1989 – nearly 30 years ago now. But it wasn’t until 2005 that Toyota launched the brand in its home Japanese Domestic Market.

Now in its seventh generation, the Lexus ES is all grown up – and decidedly more eye-catching than the six iterations that came before.

The basic parameters are essentially the same as the model we’ve already seen in other markets. It’s based on the latest version of the Toyota New Global Architecture, the GA-K platform that also underpins the new Camry, Avalon, and RAV4. But in this case, it underpins a more upscale luxury sedan. Motivation (for the JDM version) comes exclusively in the form a 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, and there’s even a sporty F Sport version.

The biggest difference with the Japanese version, though, is the Digital Side-View Monitor system which replaces the wing mirrors with digital cameras that display images on five-inch monitors inside the A-pillars. It’s a technology that’s been a long time coming, and was recently gotten approval for use in Japan.

Buyers in the local market will be able to get their hands on the new ES 300h (with or without the trick camera system) for ¥5,800,000 (about $51.5k) including taxes, the F Sport version for ¥6,290,000 (~$55k), and the top-of-the-line Version L for ¥6,980,000 ($62k).

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  • Dennis James

    Digital mirrors would mean removing the mirror supports entirely and benefiting from this, not keeping some weird sticks. This reminds me of a stupid idea I read about regarding some American prisons, where it was proposed that visiting relatives see the inmates via a monitor and a camera, even it they were literally meters away. Human stupidity.

    • salamOOn

      there are still (partial) benefits even with those smaller supports…. improved A-pillar visibility, and better airflow/ noise reduction. im good with that, i like the looks and colour on pic 60. and also i like that reversing view mode (pic. 25).

    • Knotmyrealname

      Legislation requires a view down the side of the car and that you see an area of road each side behind the car. If the cameras are brought inboard, it becomes illegal. They have to hang out a bit. ECE R46.

  • JJ

    It’s “2.5L” hybrid system, not 2.4L

  • Jason Panamera

    Why there is a battery symbol in the screens from mirrors. Will i have to charge them ?

    • Knotmyrealname

      I think it’s supposed to be a stylised camera.

      • Jason Panamera

        Oh damn. So I will have to change my memory card too…

  • jason wu

    If they want to do digital side mirrors, I think it’s better to place them on the side of the hood. You get more viewing area by moving them forward.

  • Mill0048

    I’m bothered by the flat door cards. Particularly on the dual-tone interiors. Other than that the car looks great. The digital mirrors still seem gimmicky at the moment.

    • Agreed. I feel like the resolution would have to be the best to make me feel comfortable using them. Not being able to clearly make out something in them wound irritate me to no end.

  • danno

    Didn’t know Blake Shelton was doing Lexus print commercials.

  • Thats the ugliest implementation of side mirror screens I’ve ever seen. Looks like a cross between an Ebay aftermarket upgrade and an afterthought. Terrible. And the camera looks like a knob.

  • wait a minute

    Audi’s etron has managed to better integrate this technology into it’s production suv. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/17bc907a56318345720271ac830ab855ef6a1c11d7c00699c852ac477774d765.jpg

    • Considering the display is the same size at the door handle, I’d disagree. Yes, it looks better but the ‘mirror’ is absolutely tiny, especially when it’s for such a big car too.

      • wait a minute

        agreed on the size, but the Lexus just looks like a retro-kit from walmart ($30 with instructions for installation).

        • Kash

          seeing as how the cameras are an option, it makes sense why they aren’t integrated so seamlessly. Think about it, if they found a way to integrate them like Audi’s, while retaining the larger size, they’d need to find a way to easily fill that spot on the cars without them. If they use plastic it’ll look bad and they’ll get criticized for it if they use leather or some other material it could be too costly. Since most ES’s sold globally won’t have cameras, at least not at first, the default cabin needs to be the one who’s style takes priority, the cameras are an afterthought because they’ll be the minority, in a way they are a retrofit because of this. Their mounting and installment is done to minimize changes between them and the cars without them thus reducing costs.

        • Jason Panamera

          Lexus should integrate their screens more into A-pillars.

  • In 2013, there was no legislation that would allow for digital wing mirrors on production cars. Japan is the only country to legalise it and that only happened last year.

    • mihsf

      It was not allowed in 2013, you are right.
      But it is also allowed in the European Union now (hence Audi e-Tron has it).

      • Not to doubt you but are you sure? I haven’t seen any news that the EU have legislated it yet? As far as I’m aware, Japan is still the only country.

  • klowik

    I’d suggest a top view of the side would see a better picture of what’s coming up on your sides.

  • BlackPegasus

    Gimmicky and unnecessary.

    • Mind Synthetic

      ever heard of air drag and aerodynamics?

  • Honda NSX-R

    Why didn’t these mirrors debut on the new LS instead of the ES? Isn’t the LS the Lexus flagship sedan?

    • Christian Wimmer

      It’s a great way to create buzz for a new or existing product.

      Mercedes-Benz also did something differently by debuting their new advanced and interactive MBUX system on the entry-level A-Class (followed by the new GLE and new B-Class) instead of the S-Class. I think this will be a new trend in the car market – advanced technology trickling upwards from lower-end models.

      • Honda NSX-R

        So where would that leave higher-end models if the lower tier cars get the new tech? What would their appeal be? 🤔

        • Christian Wimmer

          The higher end models will eventually get the new technology, either during a facelift or in the next generation model. These cars also sell based on other qualities.

          In the case of Mercedes the S-Class may not have MBUX, but it’s certainly still more advanced and superior to an A-Class, B-Class or the new GLE.

  • Andrew Ngo

    The monitors look out of place and the sharp does not blend well. Why not place them on the left and right of instrumental panel?

  • Dude

    I looks ok. Kind of meh though.

  • Liam Paul

    ok why are they showing pictures of a 1990s model, I want to see what the new one looks like

  • Harry_Wild

    Still has the same spindle grill! Ugh!

  • Tan Lee

    Lexus/ Toyota lead with innovative tech. Look how they got roasted for their Hybrids in Euro vs Euro diesel. Not laughing anymore.

    I can lay money on it that other manufacturers will copy this exact setup. Lexus/ Toyota know how to make money and I’m sure they have crunched the numbers to decide this is the most cost effective setup.

    I really like the rain view. When it rains, windows steam up and mirror glass suffers from rain drops distorting the reflection. If it’s night time and rain it’s the worst. These mirrors would solve what is a safety issue.

  • Eythan Aldrich

    seriously? your comment doesn’t make sense pal -_-

  • Bash

    Not sure if I really really like it though.

  • too bad the screens are so badly integrated.

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