Reviews — Automobiles — 2008 Lexus LS 600h L — Test Drive — New York Times

6 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

The Hedge-Fund Hybrid


Toyota and Lexus would but their recent hybrid including the Toyota Highlander and RX 400h utility wagons, the GS 450h sedan and now the Lexus LS L, similarly seem to be trying to it both ways.

In recent including one in the “green issue” of Fair, Lexus uses one to present the 400-plus horsepower of the LS L and the other to pat its own back for saving and planet alike.

The ads and the cars convinced many, including credulous journalists, of Lexus’s that a hybrid car or S.U.V. can like a Porsche and sip fuel a Prius. But a closer examination once again that no free lunch, even at the

For more than a year, has suggested that the LS 600h L as tested, a $121,000 hybrid of its LS 460 L flagship sedan #151; set a new standard for four-door luxury Its pitch was that the car would like a V-12 supersedan whipping V-8 rivals on fuel Instead, the hybrid may have set a new for automotive hyperbole.

Behind its Teflon shield, the Lexus to be just another overstuffed that can barely top 20 miles a #151; less, if you actually tap all that power. If that’s the planet, Jor-El had better the escape pod before it’s too

Before the enviro-brigade readies the I hasten to add that this about hating hybrids. propulsion is looking more and like a winning technology. from Toyota to General are working to develop affordable batteries, which could clean, efficient, renewable in plug-in hybrids or purely vehicles.

I can’t believe adding a cupful of electric to a fat barrel of V-8 muscle is what have in mind.

On the performance forget about the Lexus with V-12 sedans the Mercedes S600. Turns out the Lexus can’t even its own nonhybrid version, the LS 460 L. Nor is it appreciably than V-8 competitors that $20,000 to $30,000 less, the Mercedes S550, the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 or the similarly priced Maserati .

It must be noted that decadent sedans are about than straight-line speed. those high-wattage rivals the Lexus, and the modestly styled LS disappears; challenge them on a road and they all disappear the Lexus by virtue of their handling.

Spurred from a to 60 miles an hour, the LS 600h L a swift 5.5 seconds, according to own testing. Yet the gas-only LS 460 L, with a 380 horsepower from a smaller reaches 60 in 5.4 seconds, nosing out the powerful hybrid.

How is that possible? Check the where the Lexus hybrid in like Jared before his diet.

The hybrid does add drive, not available on the LS 460 L. But together, the batteries and all-wheel-drive system the hybrid with more 700 additional pounds, for a total of Forced to motivate the added the hybrid’s larger 5-liter V-8 another environmental oxymoron and dual electric motors acceleration a wash. (One drives the four wheels. The starts the gas engine and recharges the

Excess weight takes its on mileage as well. The hybrid got 21 #151; amazingly, 1 m.p.g. than the nonhybrid version I tested on the same urban and highways in and around New York That perfectly wonderful LS 460 L is with one of the most fuel-efficient I’ve driven, a 4.6-liter

But the Lexus hybrid’s biggest comes from sticker the LS 600h L starts at $104,715, $32,000 above the LS 460 L. Laden options for $121,000, the hybrid about $30,000 more the comparable gas-only version.

gently, the Lexus will beat the mileage of its apples-to-apples V-8 but only by 1 m.p.g. to 3 m.p.g. A S550 isn’t an egregious at an E.P.A. -rated 16/24 and I managed 19 m.p.g. during a test. And when I drove the in mildly spirited fashion, its dropped to 19 m.p.g. It’s to see why such minuscule mileage would dazzle the type of who’s ready to drop on a car.

The E.P.A. rates the hybrid’s at 20 m.p.g. in town and 22 on the highway. The is rated 16/24 under the revised formula, which effect for 2008 and is intended to lower, more realistic estimates for most cars.

In its the hybrid should save you a few if you do a lot of city driving. But on the highway, the model was decidedly more and thus ended up doing 1 better over all. And in traffic, where you expect a to excel, the LS 600h L mustered 14 m.p.g. certainly nothing to at.

The uneasy comparisons don’t end The gas-only version handled and drove more smoothly.

The benefits from the world’s eight-speed automatic transmission, lifts mileage and operates hushed aplomb. The hybrid’s variable transmission, in contrast, has to calculate and divvy power the gas and electric sources. It’s the most seamless of its kind, but not as or transparent as the Lexus eight-speed. And its function is nearly useless. In to mimic the feel of sporty it ladles on ever-higher levels of hybrid braking. To the driver, the effect feels like anchors of various sizes out the


Lexus’s hybrid double-talk to emissions arguments. When the says the Lexus hybrid is than average cars, will assume that has to do with global warming. But in instance, that is not the case.

To its the car’s super-ultra-low emissions rating (SULEV, if you will) is cleaner than other V-8 but only if you are measuring the pollutants form smog. (Even on the index, many gasoline also achieve SULEV or better).

But the critical earth today is conserving fuel and carbon dioxide emissions. greenhouse gas levels are almost a function of fuel economy: if you use gas, you spew more dioxide. So on that score, the 21 hybrid actually emits far carbon dioxide than, a Mercedes-Benz diesel E-Class can attain 30 m.p.g.

The LS 600h L emits more greenhouse than the average new car that achieves 27.5 m.p.g. So a Toyota Camry. among of models, leaves a smaller footprint than this land yacht.

One final ignominy: given the batteries and a separate air-conditioner for the seat, the hybrid’s trunk a meager 11.7 cubic smaller than that of a Kia Rio or compact sedan. (Skip the air-conditioning in a Lexus LS 460 L, and you’ll a 50 percent larger trunk, at 18 feet).

Jim Farley, general of Lexus, defended the car’s and green credentials. “If Lexus had to a flagship, this is how it should he said. “It’s the progressive alternative. Hybrids are a huge for us at Lexus, and they’re only to get bigger.”

Certainly, this Lexus is one of the quietest, most best-built sedans around. It has imaginable safety system and comfort. The navigation system is The Mark Levinson audio is amazing. And the optional ($12,675) Package is the hands-down #151; or #151; coolest feature. It rear seats that heat and cool, along a right-hand chair with a recline, massage functions and a ottoman for the full mini-Maybach

Yet every compliment you can lavish on impressive ride, minus the drive, applies equally to the version.

So why would anyone an extra $30,000 for this Certainly, the performance gains of sedans aren’t always by their enormous premiums. people buy them for that badge on the fender, the exclusive it sends. Ditto for the Lexus, but the 2,000 people who’ll up for the hybrid won’t be broadcasting superior power, but their morals, however illusory.

If that’s not you, stick the Lexus LS 460 L. Enjoy a back-seat and relax. You’ll know you’ve got the better car #151; one equally fast and frugal, but weighs less and handles

You can actually park that gas-only Lexus in the garage and $30,000 to buy a Prius hybrid, cash left over. the LS for special occasions and run errands in the at more than double the While Lexus plays the game, it’s the Prius takes care of business.




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