I know what you're thinking. Wasn't the Lexus ES300 that Toyota Camry with leather that old people and maybe your mom liked to drive? The answer to that is "no." Well, it's also "yes," but if you really looked closely, you'd see nothing but the sportiest sportster of sports sedans.
The second generation of the Lexus ES is so misunderstood. A truly comfortable, quiet, and solidly-made Japanese speed machine, it was sadly bought by mostly dentists. It was the Acura MDX of its day, if the MDX had the pungent stench of that certain je ne sais quoi of "potential" bubbling up underneath it.
It came with a 185 horsepower V6 known as the 3VZ-FE, with a block made out of cast iron. And all the best things in the world are made out of cast iron. Don't believe me?
Just check out all of these amazing items made out of cast iron on Amazon, like pots, and pans.
Plus it had 189 pound-feet of torque, which is basically 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR territory, or something not at all close to that.
Plus, it was available with a manual transmission. A five-speed manual transmission, which is more speeds than any pedestrian human being knows what to do with. But when you're doing the sports, with the sportiness, you know exactly what to do with.
And when I say "available," I mean "it came standard," and that's not because the accountants at Lexus were being stingy and tried to force people to pay more just to get the automatic transmission than 99.999999% of them actually wanted. No, it's because the standard buyer of this car wanted the true, visceral pleasure of shifting their own gears, in their Lexus sports sedan.
And finally, if you think I'm just joking around here, look at that ad one more time.
Did you see it?
If not, watch closlier.
That's right. The sweater. Look at the multi-colored piece of magnificence. That's a racing sweater, right there. I'm pretty sure that's the same sweater Ayrton Senna wore under his racing suit, all the time, despite racing for Honda. Because that man knew speed when he saw it, and he saw it in the sweaters of Bill Cosby.
Because sports sedan.