Toyota's Lexus division has produced its 1.5 millionth ES model ahead of of a restart of right hand drive production with new ES350 and 300h versions destined for Australia.

Over six generations, the ES - not sold in Europe - has become the brand's most popular passenger vehicle.

"Over almost a quarter of a century, ES has established itself as the benchmark for comfort, refinement, quality and undeniably high specification," said executive vice president of Lexus International, Mark Templin.

Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said that the return of the ES later this year demonstrates the significance of the Australian market for Lexus.

"For 15 years ES built and retained a strong and loyal customer following and we are thrilled to reintroduce this model to Australia," Hanley said.

"The return of ES to Australia has been the result of customer demand and Lexus' desire to offer unique vehicles to Australian customers.

Launched in the US in 1989, the first generation, Camry-based ES was an executive sedan that was extremely well specified.

The second generation ES, launched in 1991, solidified the nameplate's comfort, space, refinement and reliability credentials.

Sold until 1997, the ES 300 was replaced by a redesigned third generation model that was longer and significantly stiffer - but again extremely well specified for the time.

In 2001 the fourth generation was launched - accounting for almost one fifth of Lexus global sales at the time.

The redesigned ES300 received a new three litre quad cam V6 and many features from the LS 430 of the time.

In 2006, Lexus launched the fifth generation ES but in left hand drive only - ceasing the nameplate's presence in right hand drive markets.

During its time on sale, the fifth generation ES received a new 3.5 litre V6 developing over 200kW of power.

In 2012, Lexus launched the redesigned ES with two new drivetrains, a 204kW 3.5 litre all-alloy quad cam V6 in the ES350 and a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle I4 hybrid in the ES300h - and returned to right hand drive production.

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