Friday, February 1, 2008

Lexus LS 600h

Lexus LS 600h

The 2008 LS 600h is a 4-door, up to 5-passenger luxury sedan, available in one trim only, the L Luxury Sedan.

'The LS 600h L was developed to explore the outer reaches of performance, style and safety,' said Bob Carter, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. 'It is a vehicle as efficient and familiar as it is indulgent and advanced, a far-reaching concept, fully developed and fully realized. It is simply in a class by itself.'

The all-new LS 600h L is powered by the ultra-quiet Lexus Hybrid Drive system, the automotive industry's most advanced gas-electric hybrid system developed to date that features the world's first full V8, all-wheel-drive (AWD) hybrid drivetrain. The system combines a new 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engine with two powerful electric motors and a newly designed large-capacity battery pack that is lighter and extremely quiet. Together, this advanced combination provides the LS 600h L with an unmatched balance of environmental efficiency and performance.

The LS 600h L's Lexus Hybrid Drive system provides power and performance on par with competitors normally aspirated 12-cylinder powerplants. The hybrid powertrain generates a peak combined output rating of 438 horsepower and can effortlessly accelerate the LS 600h L from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Mid-range acceleration is even more impressive. The system's electric motor is capable of delivering maximum torque, on demand, and is most beneficial during passing maneuvers.

Finally, exhilarating torque is in abundance at higher speeds as the LS 600h L rapidly accelerates from 50-70 mph in a rapid 3.5 seconds.

The LS hybrid is expected to carry a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) rating. A SULEV rating means the LS 600h L has nearly 70-percent cleaner emissions than the 'cleanest' of its competitors.

Owing to the inherent noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) improvements offered by its hybrid powertrain, the LS 600h L is designed to set a new standard for silent running in the prestige-luxury sedan class. The depth and density of cabin quietness in the LS 600h L required extensive re-engineering of accessory motors and switches.

The LS hybrid carries a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) rating. A SULEV rating means the LS 600h L has nearly 70 percent fewer smog forming emissions than vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine and cleaner than the ambient air in some major cities.
The company also paid extraordinary attention to safety in the 600, adding advanced precollision with brake activation to the extensive array of safety mechanisms. This system detects objects, determines the likelihood of a collision, and then applies the brakes up to 40 percent of maximum force without any action by the driver.

Along with frugality, a SULEV emissions rating, and the massive elastic surge of acceleration, the 2008 LS600hL proclaims its unique status with blue-tinted badges and that proud (and long) trunklid insignia. Will that be enough to justify the price premium? We — and Lexus — are betting it will.

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

ESTIMATED PRICE AS TESTED: $115,000 (estimated base price: $110,000)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 32-valve 5.0-liter V-8, 389 hp, 385 lb-ft; DC permanent-magnet electric motor, 221 hp (battery limited to 49 hp); combined system, 438 hp

TRANSMISSION: dual-range continuously variable automatic

Wheelbase: 121.7 in
Length: 202.8 in
Width: 73.8 in
Height: 58.3 in
Curb weight: 5220 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 5.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 12.4 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 14.8 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 5.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.8 sec @ 106 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 200-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.75 g

2008 EPA city driving: 20 mpg

C/D-observed: 20 mpg