It Took Lexus Three Years To Develop The Perfect Seats For The New ES

Lexus is really proud of their seats in the new ES; the company has spent three years designing the perfect seats for their new executive model.

Their goal was to offer the ideal support and comfort for people of all shapes and sizes, which indeed sounds like a massive task.

The concept for the new seat design was to be “clear and deep”, according to Takeshi Kawano, a leading engineer that worked on the new Lexus ES.

“The moment you sit in the new ES, you’ll notice that your posture feels just right,” Kawano said. “There’s no need to squirm around until you find the right position. This is the ‘clear’ part. Then, once you’re seated, your lower back is fully supported. You’ll feel at ease and, no matter the G-forces acting on the car from any direction, your posture never wavers. This is the ‘deep’ part.”

The new Lexus ES’s seats adopt a simple structure, featuring polyurethane foam wrapped around an iron frame. The cushion of the seat is flat but comes with elevated sides to provide good hip support and keep the body stable. The trick was however to create a seat cushion that will support all body sizes.

“To develop a seat cushion that could cancel out physical differences, we incorporated very subtle depressions in the surface so that even smaller body types can sink firmly into the seat,” Kawano explained. “We also added a laminated layer to the top of each seat. This layer is thin and soft, which allows the head to sink into the cushion for better stability.”

The same attention was given to the ES F Sport seats, which provide even greater body holding. Kawano and his team took inspiration from the seats in the Lexus LC Coupe, increasing the resilience of the side support and designed them in such way that the hips, back and shoulders are better stabilized against a single surface.

“It’s because the ES F Sport is such a sporty car that I felt we needed to stabilize the driver’s body so that they wouldn’t move at all, even when driving on a racing circuit at full speed,” Kawano added. “We’ve tested the seats, and we can tell you that even when going around a corner at high speeds, the driver’s position barely changes.”

more photos...
  • Anon


    • paulgdeaton

      Better to sit inside than to have to be outside, looking at the ugliest grill in existence…

  • Mr. EP9

    Three years to develop a seat yet they can’t do anything about that massive ugly grill.

    • jimv1983

      That’s a matter of opinion. I personally like the look of the large grill.

  • PhilMcGraw

    I don’t know yet how the new seats feel, but I will say that I’ve sat in leather seats ranging from Mercedes and BMW to Honda and Infiniti and somehow Lexus and Toyota manage to have soft leather seats that aren’t hard or tough. I’m sure there are other manufacturers that offer something similar, but I’m just saying that I was really disappointed sitting in a $50k Mercedes and it had seats that felt harder than your average Toyota.

    EDIT: And I asked someone who owns one of the new RX’s how they could get past it’s ugly looks to own such a car, he told me that it was easy because the interior quality and seating was better than the other cars he tested. Just someone’s opinion, but it explains why buyers are able to look past the car exterior.

    • Kagan

      50K Mercedes – it maybe had plastic leather? 50K is cheap for a Mercedes.

      • PhilMcGraw

        GLC and C-class start at $40k. And it is possible to get a gently used (20k miles or less) GLE or E-Class nicely equipped for $50k or less.

    • jimv1983

      I just ordered a new 2019 ES. I very much like the exterior look. I think current Lexus models in general look very nice.

      • paulgdeaton

        Have you considered getting new glasses?

    • D3X

      Try Volvo seats. Probably better than the ES.

  • DMax

    What the hell Kaz Yamauchi doing there?

  • Toronado_II

    A confortable seat for a 5’2″ driver…

    • jimv1983

      I felt very comfortable in the seat of the ES (I ordered one just a few weeks ago). I’m 6 feet.

      • Toronado_II

        I’m 6’2″ and the model that I sat in were not for me. Happy to ear that they understand than we are taller.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Nerd fest!

  • Craig

    I appreciate the fact that they took the time to create a great seat. I’ll have to have test-seat to see how well they did. That said….. given how many DECADES cars have been made – is there any excuse for making a car seat that isn’t great?

  • TheBelltower

    Whatever. At least the seats make it substantially better than a Toyota.

  • SteersUright

    The ES has long been stunningly comfortable, had a beautiful interior, and of very high quality. Not my type of ride, but this certainly looks like more of the same. Now if Lexus only grew a pair and made an all new GS I’d be much, much more into the brand.

  • Trackhacker

    They need to better design the cars exteriors that app look horrible.

  • Bo Hanan

    Timing is ironic as Lexus just lost a 208 million dollar lawsuit because the seats in a previous generation ES failed-fell backwards and hurt small children in a crash.

  • D3X

    Seems like the same guys making the Supra then…

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