The Lexus LS 600h L was the first car to combine a V-8 gasoline engine with an electric motor for improved gas mileage and robust acceleration. The 600h L is a hybrid version of the LS 460L, and it pretty much sits alone as far as ultra-expensive hybrids, starting in the $108,000 range.
New for 2010
The LS 600h L receives minor updates to its exterior styling, a revised battery pack design to improve trunk space, USB connectivity for iPods and a new telematics communication system.
The LS 600h L differs little from the LS 460 in its exterior appearance. Aside from the model badge on the trunklid, hybrid badging appears on the trim near the bottom of the rear doors. For 2010, the LS gains new front styling, bumpers and taillights.
- 19-inch wheels with multiple design options
- LED headlights are used as the low beams
- Power folding heated tilt-down side mirrors
- Chrome grille
- Available bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
The 600h L shares the gas-only L model's interior appointments. Special to the hybrid is a power-flow diagram on the dashboard's central LCD screen. The car's hybrid nature doesn't eliminate any of the model's gee-whiz features, including a self-parking system that relies on the car's backup camera.
- Power moonroof
- Voice-activated navigation system
- 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
- Available rear climate control
- Available rear-seat DVD entertainment system
Under the Hood
The LS is the first vehicle to mate an electric drive system to a V-8 engine, in this case a 5.0-liter. The system as a whole generates more than 430 horsepower, according to Lexus.
- 5.0-liter V-8 makes 389 hp, but when teamed with the electric motor total output rises to 438 hp
- Continuously variable automatic transmission with "PWR" (power) and "SNOW" modes
- All-wheel drive
- Lexus estimates zero-to-60-mph time of 5.5 seconds
- 288-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery
- 165-kilowatt electric motor
- Combined fuel economy of 21 mpg
The LS 600h L includes all the standard safety features of the LS 460L. The available Advanced Pre-Collision System helps detect obstacles in the car's path, including pedestrians. It uses a forward-looking radar sensor and two cameras to view the road ahead. A third camera on the steering column monitors the driver's face. If the driver's head is turned and there's an obstacle ahead, the system chimes a warning and flashes a light, then applies the brakes gently if there's no response. It also tightens the seat belt retractors and moves the brake pads closer to the discs in preparation for a panic stop or collision. There's a free one-year subscription to a new telematics system, Lexus Enform with Safety Connect, that offers automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator, emergency assist and roadside assistance. After the first year, Lexus Enform with Safety Connect becomes a paid subscription service.
- Electronically controlled antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution
- Electronic stability system
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Front knee airbags
- Rear-seat side-impact airbags
- Available Advanced Pre-Collision System
- Available backup camera