Full Test 2008 Lexus LS 600h L

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2008 Lexus LS 600h L

2008 Lexus LS 600h L Test Video

Lexus a hybrid luxury liner more spark than

Published: 04/19/2007 — by Pearley Huffman. Contributor

isn’t after high-income with the 2008 Lexus LS L.

These people don’t income, one Lexus official us about the target buyer for the LS They have wealth. isn’t the concern.

Instead concerned about prestige, and the statement their car makes them.

In other words, don’t buy a Lexus. In fact, says the company’s V8-powered LS 460 even considered. These have a very short list and we’re not on it is the way one Lexus put it.

The sedans they buy are the 12-cylinder S600. BMW 760Li and Audi A8 .

To Lexus needed a new flagship, one a six-figure price tag and more So the company has created the LS 600h L, a hybrid sedan that is and foremost a luxury liner. built to provide the world’s citizens the same sort of seamless and abundant thrust would get in a 12-cylinder ultraluxury only without resorting to all additional cylinders.

To accomplish Lexus has combined its largest V8 with a supplementary electric and battery pack. The result is the expensive Lexus ever and the only car in the ultraluxury class qualifies as a Super Ultra Low Vehicle (SULEV).

Dense-Pack Technology

At 202.8 the LS 600h L is the same length as its LS 460 L. but it’s not particularly vast to the Mercedes S600, which out 205.0 inches. In addition to all the that an LS 460 L carries, the hybrid all-wheel drive with a differential and a Torsen center an additional planetary gearset, two generator electric motors, a inverter, a nickel-metal hydride and a long tangle of wires and All of which weighs a ton.

not really a ton, but it all does add 887 to the car, which crushed our to the tune of 5,219 pounds. 887 pounds more than an LS 460 L, and 344 more than the curb Mercedes claims for the S600 And all that weight mutes jumbo hybrid’s performance.

It leaves this big sedan very little trunk. all that stuff has to go somewhere, and the batteries and motors shrinks space 35 percent from the LS 18 cubic feet to just

To compensate for the weight increase, has added stroke to the all-aluminum V8 it uses in the LS 460. It now displaces 5.0 but the two engines are otherwise nearly with double-overhead cams, 32 and variable valve-timing. Rated at 389 nine more than the LS 460 V8, the feeds a continuously variable that in turn is plumbed the drivetrain, parallel with the motors.

With the V8 and the electric working together, there’s a (Lexus tells us) of 438 hp available to around the LS 600h L. That’s to BMW’s claimed output for the 6.0-liter V12, but behind the Mercedes claims for the S600’s V12.

Fast, But Not Faster

The LS 600h hybrid system operates in modes: Hybrid, Power or The default setting is Hybrid, is supposed to provide smooth Meanwhile, Power sharpens response and Snow softens to make acceleration on slippery more manageable.

Our best times in the preproduction test car with the system set on Power and the in Sport mode. The 0-to-60-mph took 6.0 seconds and the quarter-mile by in 14.3 seconds at 101 mph. For a heavy sedan, that’s not but the conventional LS 460 L is just as quick.

It 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and rips through the in the same 14.3 seconds.

isn’t much of a surprise, the LS 600h L and LS 460 L have similar ratios. Each of the hybrid’s 438 must lug 11.9 pounds, each of the LS 460 L’s carries and the cheaper car doesn’t have to the parasitic drag inherent in an system.

Still Thirsty

Of the compensating virtue of the hybrid should be fuel economy. And it will run solely on its battery at low and shut off its V8 whenever the car comes to a the LS 600h L does have an in stop-and-go traffic. Lexus that final EPA mileage will have the hybrid LS at 20 mpg in the city compared to 16 mpg for the LS 460 L and 17 mpg for the shorter LS

But on the highway, where the LS 600h larger V8 is always running hauling around 887 additional and always churning all four the advantage is clearly with the LS 460 Both the LS 460 and LS 460 L are rated by the EPA at a commendable 24 mpg on the while the LS 600h L (Lexus will carry a 22 mpg rating on the

Clearly what fuel benefits the LS 600h L might depend on conditions. Driven a New York City taxicab, the LS L drinks less fuel an LS 460 L. But on the open highway, the laws of work against it, and the conventional car be more parsimonious.

Lavish, and Creamy

Like all the cars in lofty class of transportation, the LS L comes loaded with ranging from power to a Mark Levinson sound that seems to put the Duke Orchestra in the backseat. There’s a navigation system, abundant systems and enough tiny switches strewn about the to intimidate a veteran pilot of a 747.

The seats are covered in leather and they’re all heated fronts are cooled, too). And if not enough, buyers can opt for the Executive Seating Package which the rear seat into a office and massage center. is, there’s virtually no amenity on the LS 600h L that isn’t optional on the LS 460.

And of course, this is the car that itself.

Not a Sport Sedan

If the LS has been criticized for anything a lack of passion in its driving and the same can be said for the LS 600h L. The of the hybrid system, while add another layer of insulation the driver and the road. As an automotive chamber, the LS 600h is among the best, but this is not a sport by any stretch of the imagination.

But it’s not to be. It’s responsive and it handles but even with the standard air set in Sport mode this is a sprung car. And the electric steering, while accurate, is despite being connected to the by big 245/45R19 tires.

Those big all-wheel drive and the optional system Lexus calls Power Stabilizer System do the LS 600h L more athletic an LS 460 L. It recorded 0.82g on our skid pad and through our slalom at 62.6 Neither performance is exactly in the category, but they both improvements over the LS 460 L.

The larger from the LS 460 L Touring package are standard and stop this sedan in just 120 feet, 16 feet shorter than the LS 460 L wore the standard brakes.

To Justify

In a class where counts, the $104,715 hybrid LS rattle a few cages. Only will be built this for sale in the United States, and we little doubt each be sold quickly.

Still, this car is hard to on its merits. It’s no quicker or refined than its far cheaper, brother, the LS 460 L, and it has a smaller trunk. its fuel economy advantage is at best.

Truth be told, for who want a socially responsible car, the LS 600h L isn’t the best choice at the Lexus The slightly smaller GS 450h is a hybrid, but uses a V6 instead of a V8 and gets better fuel an EPA-rated 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. An can even be made that the LS 460 is the green LS model.

It’s to assemble, uses fewer parts, should be easier to at the end of its life, and gets 16 mpg city and 24 mpg

With the word Hybrid displayed on each of its rear the LS 600h L certainly makes a and strong statement in the luxury-car It’s certainly the world’s politically correct luxury but we think it should be more that.

Second Opinion

Line Editor in Chief Oldham says:

If you like the LS 460 L you’ll like the Lexus LS L. If you love the Lexus LS 460 L you’ll the Lexus LS 600h L. And it really is simple.

But if you’re truly concerned man’s impact on the environment, buy a Honda Fit. Get the Sport with the optional leather.

I ain’t gonna happen. rich beyond belief and be caught dead in a subcompact. But you have five 10,000-square-foot that you’re constantly and air-conditioning, plus a Gulfstream so you can avoid the ticket counter, and feeling a little guilty it.

Don’t. Leave the guilt for the class.

Instead, do what Al does, buy some of those Credits and fire up the jet for another ski Aspen is lovely this of year. Oh, and buy yourself a Mercedes

Its 5.5-liter V12 cranks out 510 hp and a colossal 612 of torque, enough to blow the LS 600h L into the weeds. It qualifies for a ULEV II emissions That’s ULEV as in Ultra Low Vehicle.

In other words you can the tailpipe for a week without any effects, including guilt.

The provided Edmunds this for the purposes of evaluation.


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