Test Drive: You will pay a lot, but Lexus 600h delivers — USATODAY.com

20 Май 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Lexus LS 600h

Power is fierce; the array of features, almost imponderable.

dashboard is handmade and some of the body are hand-sanded between of paint. Lexus says craftsmen oversee many key operations to boost Lexus’ respected quality and infuse a feel, though the car is built by robots, in the modern fashion.

The drivetrain pushes hybrid to new heights — but of sophistication or absurdity?

The car is effort to attract the super-affluent it hasn’t quite reached, in to the ordinarily affluent that it A 5-liter gasoline V-8 is teamed two electric motors in the now-familiar hybrid system, called Synergy Drive. It’s as an all-wheel-drive setup, not just in the LS 600h, however.

The power of a Lexus says, and the fuel you’d get from a big-displacement V-6 in an car. Translated, about 20 per gallon on the windows sticker, 18 on the byways around here, a spirited frolic on the snaking Crest Highway. On which, it be noted, the car handled more than you’d expect, the non-sporting reputation of Lexus’ big

At that level of price and who cares about mileage, you ask. Why, says those super-affluent buyers it is to lure. They want to good, or less bad, their luxury car indulgence. a 50-mpg Prius, but the 600h get better mileage than its and poops 70% fewer objectionables out the Lexus explains. Less from the affluent.

No sacrifice of either, with near-limousine accommodations opened up by the long-wheelbase That’s why the L is in the model name.

To get the necessary muscle, Lexus it could simply have put a V-12 under the hood. But things differently and offering a alternative is key to Lexus’ image, Jim Farley, newly appointed to run the brand in the U.S. after Toyota’s other non-namesake Scion, off the ground.

So engineers a third version of the current V-8. The first was the 4.6-liter in the LS 460 sedan. The next was the 5.7-liter V-8 in the Tundra pickup launched this year. Though the one in the is a 5-liter engine, the car is designated 600 it performs as well as a 6-liter in Lexus’ view. The h, of course, it’s a hybrid.

The gasoline alone is rated 389 horsepower. Add the motor’s power and the total is — can you the coincidence? — 438 hp, same as BMW’s V-12.

The second electric doesn’t drive the car. It as the starter for the engine, as the generator to the battery full and the accessories and influences how the continuously variable transmission blends power the gasoline and electric sources.

The as all Toyota CVTs, is based on a set of gears, rather than the system that comprises CVTs.

However blended, from the gas and electric powerplants is and smooth. The 600 is the first gasoline-electric in which you honestly can’t any transition between the gasoline and power. All hybrids make claim, but all are fudging because you can slight shakes and jerks.

The prodigious power output is through a Torsen all-wheel system to spread the joy to both for better control and stability.

At low speed, burbling along in the punch the throttle only Because hitting it launches the car as if a catapult. Heavy throttle at higher speed, as on the freeway, considerable additional thrust but not the thrill as the low-speed acceleration.

For its and power, the 600 is companionable around as it proves easing along for a caffeine purveyor around parts.

The engine goes still at stops, as in all hybrids, fuel and reducing noise and The electric motor alone can the big rig away from stoplights, but slowly and by keeping the pressure light on the go pedal. It’s not to do when there’s a line of traffic stacking behind but it works well lazing residential areas. Pleasant to toddle along in the big, machine with the tachometer 0 as the gasoline engine waits to be

Also noteworthy:

•Safety It’s as if there’s a race to see who can the most safety-related, electronically features into a car. In the you can get a setup that scans face and decides if you’re not at the road ahead — if, say, glancing sideways or drooping drowsiness. If that happens, and if also decide that approaching a car or other obstacle too to stop in time, the Lexus hail you with beeps. If doesn’t work, the car begins the brakes automatically to lessen the of the inevitable impact.

•Comfort The car is comfortable generally, and if you get the executive package — cutting the rear into two commodious buckets of a bench — you get massage programs for the in the right-rear seat. That’s if you have a driver and you use the 600 as a limo.


You also get a wood-rimmed table there for your paperwork or tasks en route to the corner every morning. And a beverage And heated/cooled seats. And separate controls, window shades and trappings of the super-affluent on the move.

If you the exec setup, you merely get a roomy, comfortable back

If the road is rocky, switch the air to the comfort setting. If smooth and toggle to sport. Otherwise, is good. The settings seem to do as names suggest. And, sport isn’t too harsh for use, nor is comfort too sloppy. when a car offers such choices, none feels right. And wouldn’t that be a error in a six-figure machine?

• Look past the engine and CVT to the that manage power to the The routine electronic nannies — control and anti-skid control, speaking — are at work to keep you turning your expensive into puddles of rubber the time you nail the throttle. to know how hard they Turn them off while on a gravel surface, crank the wheel hard one direction, the pedal. The car slews almost despite its all-wheel drive.

A case of useful nannies.

• Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the of choice. Lexus says come to full power while the blue-white, high-intensity (HID) lights favored by luxury brands can require to hit stride on a cold day. Lexus claims, LEDs should need replacing and yellow or lose their They’re small, so can be tucked in and the slants and curves the stylists

Inside, LED ceiling lights well as reading lights they are bright and their focused beams don’t the driver’s eye.

If there’s a it’s that — save for the big difference — the 600 doesn’t seem better than the LS 460 sedan still atop the Lexus until the 600 hits showrooms summer. That’s a slight Lexus says, from the spring or summer forecast; time to ensure the brand’s has no teething problems.

The 600, as an hybrid, is unique among sedans. And that, one presumes, is a trait to the super-affluent.

2008 LS 600h L

•What is it? The most Japanese car ever sold in the The biggest, most-powerful gasoline-electric car. The only LS with drive. Bait for the very A halo for the whole Lexus as if one were needed.

Lexus LS 600h

Specifically, a large, four-door, four- or all-wheel-drive, hybrid sedan, in Japan.

•How soon? a delay from Lexus’ forecast of spring or summer. No says Lexus boss Jim — and Lexus wants to be sure it that way.

•How $104,715 to start, including Limited production Launch is $121,715. The first 100 of those are via a catalog that goes to who spend a lot at Neiman-Marcus — as much as million a year, Lexus Gasp.

•What’s the point? Nuzzle up to buyers, where Lexus yet made inroads. In so doing, the image of a brand already the for automotive quality.

•How 2,000 a year.

•What’s the Like all hybrids, it’s to envision. It combines a 5-liter V-8, rated 389 horsepower and 385 feet of torque, with an motor that, solo, is for 221 hp, but teamed and timed with the V-8 just 49 hp to the effort, for a total of 438 hp.

A variable automatic transmission on a set of planetary gears, not the usual rig, blends the power and it via a Torsen all-wheel drive with limited-slip center so front and rear always get

Side-to-side power at both is managed by traction control.

else? You kidding? There’s not room to tell. Go to the website: The car has all the power accessories, air bags and sound components you’d A few things you might not: steering wheel, power adjuster for passenger’s safety adjustable air suspension.

Yes, the parking system is available. So is a package that includes a system that knows you’re not looking straight and starts applying the brakes if about to crash. And a shiatsu option. And 5 well, see that

How big? A little narrower a BMW 760Li inside and out, similar. LS 600h L is 202.8 long, 73.8 inches 58.3 inches tall on a wheelbase. Weight is listed as pounds. Rated to carry pounds of people, cargo and (five-passenger model) or 961 pounds Executive model).

Trunk space, truncated by battery pack, is just cubic feet. Lexus that’s enough for four of golf clubs, one set of clubs a common unit of trunk-space among the many golf-loving auto execs.

How thirsty? the point, isn’t it? If a hybrid outdo a plain gasoline why bother? Lexus projects mileage ratings under the formula of 20 miles per gallon in 22 on the highway, 21 in combined driving.

The LS two main targets are BMW 760Li and A8L, both long-wheelbase, cars. Under the ’08 the BMW would be rated 13/20/15, the 13/19/15.

Lexus’ tank 22.2 gallons. Premium is specified.

Trip computer in car showed 17.8 mpg in a mix of sedate driving and quite enthusiastic highway driving.

Overall: A lot of and satisfaction in a single machine, as a right to demand for a six-figure (Indeed, you should be able to sue if you don’t get within a few miles of in a $100,000 car.) Excellent for a respected brand.

Interesting



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