2008 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid Car test drive Lexus hybrid …

12 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2008 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid Car test drive Lexus hybrid … отключены


Lexus Electric Cars

The Highbrow Hybrid

The big Lexus is loaded with first-evers and one-of-a-kinds for its genre. And in only its second year of existence, the Lexus LS 600h L has solidified its place as an uncompromising high performance premier luxury class sedan with an ecological soft side. In the ultra luxury class, production is limited with no expenses spared, and the 600h s price tag reflects its segment. Base: $104,000, as tested with Premium Luxury Package II: $115,412.

EPA estimates: 20 city/22 highway. Warranty: 48-month/50,000-mile basic, 72 month/70,000-mile powertrain, 8 year/100,000-mile hybrid components.

Initial Impressions

Scott: Wow, what a looker! Though it s been known to happen on a few occasions, I m not one given to falling instantly in love with a car based solely on looks I like to think that I m able to muster-up substantial objective resolve when it comes to test drive and review time. Well, the LS 600hL presented me with quite a challenge. Sophisticated … appeal is what this machine has in spades.

Its long and low slung body crouching over a stretched out wheel base those gentle sweeping curves the wild cat-like appearance of the projector beam headlights. I felt like the protagonist in the Kenny Chesney hit song You had me from hello. But I did eventually manage to somehow get past the 600h s stunning good looks and concentrate on her underpinnings and hybrid drivetrain. That s what really matters to me anyway. How would this big girl do with the electric motors pushin her?

Christine: After a brief look-see at the New York Auto Show, I was looking forward to inspecting this baby close up. With a quiet yet intense presence, this set of wheels exuded polish and refinement from every square inch. With a price tag higher than that of our first house, I was a tad gun-shy to think of taking her out on the road. Would the ride and handling live up to the poise and finesse of that Verdigris Mica paint that emanated smooth savoir faire?

Continued below.

Look feel

Spacious and ultra comfy, the 600h’s passenger compartment leaves occupants wanting for nothing.

Adrian Gable

Lexus goal when it introduced the LS 600h L was to produce a vehicle of the highest level of performance and technology ever achieved in the company s history. They did it! It s loaded from headlights to tailpipes with state of the art safety, comfort, convenience, fuel efficiency and emissions accoutrements and technology.

And dare we say coddled? Inside the cabin. it s instantly pampered comfort. The seats are covered in genuine semi-aniline leather that extends onto the door panels the steering wheel and entire dashboard as well. Controls for comfort and convenience are liberally sprinkled across the dash, console and steering wheel, everything from heated and cooled seats. heated steering wheel, 19-speaker surround sound audio system to Intuitive Parking Assist.

Yes, the 600h can literally steer itself into a parking space as the driver, with both hands-off-the-wheel, gently brakes the car into position.

Ride and handling take on a how s-your-mood-today attitude with a completely air adjustable suspension system that offers performance, regular, and comfort positions that instantly change the car’s demeanor, whether twisting through double esses or cruising over a set of city street trolley tracks. Scott put the performance mode to the test and was just flat-out impressed. This car is 202 inches long and weighs in at just over 5000 pounds yet it handled with …-on sport roadster agility.

Tire of the kidney crunch though, and just a flip of the switch yields luxury mode and a creamy, silk-smooth ride.

Fuel-ability

The 600h s cultivated good looks and masterful suspension system bring a tingle to the spine, but it is the resplendent hybrid system that makes this car a delicious mix of ferocious beast and gentle lamb. It is the world s first and to date only V-8, all-wheel-drive, hybrid drivetrain.

The characters in this play are a 5.0-liter 389 horsepower engine joined by a 165 kW electric drive motor that transfer their combined force through an Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) that plants final power to the terra firma via a limited-slip transfer case and four beefy 245/45R19 tires. And just for fun, Lexus ups the ante with an electronic torque controller with, you guessed it, a performance mode. Scott put all this hardware through its paces in a combination of highway acceleration and makeshift backroad slalom. Let s just say that in straight line acceleration, he ran out of courage long before the hybrid drive ran out of power. A sequential braking mode is part of the ECVT s fun factor and we had a blast speeding to curves and then one-by-one ratcheting downward through the 8 speeds to whoa-up and plant for entrance.

Pure exhilaration!

Now we didn t drive the 600h that hard all the time (with tremendous willpower), and we found that mild cruising took advantage of all the LS s light-on-the-earth capabilities. The big V-8 was there if we needed (or wanted) it, but to tell the truth, a constant mix of light engine/motor hybrid power provided more than enough oomph for everyday commutes. Our combined mileage hovered constantly in the 22-23 mpg range.

When it s all said done

Together in hybrid drive, the engine and electric motor can produce better than 400 horsepower while returning well over 20 mpg average.

Adrian Gable

Lexus did well with the LS 600h L, very well. Though we pile-on the accolades, the car is not perfect. Rear stowage is, at best—disappointing, not even enough for a decent weekend getaway.

Got more than a couple suitcases, and you better get the Highlander. That however is not its niche, and the 600’s combination of luxury and performance is nothing short of intoxicating. And when the efficiency of the hybrid drivetrain is factored in, any need for self-induced guilt is swept away. No, it s not the most fuel efficient car in the world, but considering the audience that the 600h plays for, and compared to its competition, this luxury hybrid sedan nails a beyond mid-court three pointer.

Yes the sticker shock is palpable, but this isn t a car for Mom, Dad, a pile of kids and the daily grind of a busy family—that s where the Toyota Camry Hybrid comes in. This is a car for a different time and place in life.

So who is the competition, and how does it stack-up? With the big V-8 and the potent electric motors, the 600h makes horsepower comparable to some pretty formidable 12-cylinder European competition: Audi 8AL (W12), BMW 760 Li (V-12) and Mercedes-Benz S600 (V-12). Their performance is exhilarating, but these cars struggle to get 15 mpg compared to the 600h s 22 mpg.

Yeah, people who can afford these vehicles probably don t need to worry about the price of fuel, but like the rest of us, they share the same air. It only makes sense, whether you can afford it or not, to use less fuel and keep the air cleaner.

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