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The car in the image above may bear a striking resemblance to the 2013 Lexus GS, but take a second look – that's actually the next-generation ES, despite its shockingly similar appearance. It's no secret that Lexus' new hourglass grille is quickly spreading across its entire model range (check out the recently unveiled 2013 LX 570 for reference), and while the ES looks fashionably familiar, there are a few new touches to note.

Today, Japanese automakers have an iron grip on the affordable luxury segment, but it wasn't always so. All it takes is a quick look through the MotorWeek archives to recall that there was a time when most consumers didn't realize that Lexus and Infiniti offered cars positioned below the LS 400 and Q45 that coddled without breaking the bank. In 1990, MotorWeek compared the then-new ES 250 and M30. With 0-60 mph figures in the 10-second range and host of push-button controls, both vehicles offer

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