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. With seating for up to five people, the 600h L is a hybrid version of the LS 460 L, and it competes with the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid and BMW ActiveHybrid 750.
New for 2012
There are no significant changes for the 2012 model year.
The LS 600h L differs little from the LS 460 in its exterior appearance. Aside from the model badge on the trunk lid, hybrid badging appears on the trim near the bottom of the rear doors. Exterior features include:
- 19-inch wheels with multiple design options
- LED headlights are used as the low beams
- Power folding heated tilt-down side mirrors
- Brushed grille
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. Interior features include:
- Power moonroof
- Voice-activated navigation system
- 19-speaker Mark Levinson stereo
- Available rear climate control
- Available rear-seat DVD entertainment system with 9-inch screen
Under the Hood
The LS was 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 438 horsepower. Mechanical features include:
- 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 Power and Snow modes
- All-wheel drive
- Estimated zero-to-60-mph time of 5.5 seconds
- 288-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery
- 165-kilowatt electric motor
The LS 600h L includes all the standard safety features of the LS 460 L. 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 the telematics system, Lexus Enform with Safety Connect. It offers automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator, emergency assist and roadside assistance. Safety features include:
- 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
- Optional rear-seat side-impact airbags
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