2008 Lexus LS 600h L
By MARK VAUGHN
AutoWeek | Published 04/23/07, 8:02 am et
AT A GLANCE:
2008 LEXUS LS 600H L
ON SALE: June
DRIVETRAIN: 5.0-liter, 389-hp, 385-lb-ft V8; 221 hp from two electric motors; combined power 438 hp, 389 lb-ft; rwd, CVT
0 TO 60 MPH: 5.5 sec (mfr.)
CURB WEIGHT: 5049 lb
FUEL ECONOMY (EPA Combined): 21 mpg
Is it possible to hug a tree even if you own the forest and are exploiting the trolls and elves for cheap labor? That is the question the Lexus LS 600h L begs to ask, and the answer is yes.
The idea with this hyper-electronic spaceship sedan is that you can have your 438-hp faux-V12 and eat it, too. It’s a solution so green that, despite all that power and weight, everybody still can feel good about it, from the plutocrats in the reclining rear “Executive Class” seats to the protester sitting up above in an old-growth redwood.
The nice way to look at this cosmic leap of an automobile is to say that Lexus threw all of its technological creativity into making a supersedan that loves and respects the earth across which it hums. With the world’s largest all-wheel-drive hybrid-electric drivetrain short of an AT&SF train, the Lexus LS 600h L produces as much power and torque as a 6.0-liter V12. So they say. Look around at a few spec sheets, and you’ll see that output does match the 6.0-liter V12 of the BMW 760Li but falls short of other 12-cylinder engines, such as the Aston Martin DB9 at 450 hp, the Bentley Continental GTC at 552 hp, the Ferrari 612 at 533 hp and the 599 GTB Fiorano at 612 hp, to name just the normally aspirated 12s. Sedans? The Audi W12 makes 450 hp; Mercedes uses a pair of turbos to hit 510 hp.