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 740.
New for 2013
The LS 600h L wears a new spindle-style grille, which has been spreading across Lexus' lineup. The steering and braking systems have also been revised. Drivers can now choose from Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, and also Comfort and Sport settings for the air suspension. The new dashboard design incorporates a 12.3-inch screen for the standard navigation system. The updated interior incorporates Lexus' Remote Touch interface, which operates systems like the radio and air conditioning with a controller located on the center console. The front seats have been redesigned for better comfort, and sound insulation updates make for a quieter cabin, according to Lexus.
ExteriorThe LS 600h L differs little from the LS 460 in its exterior appearance. In addition to the model badge on the trunk lid, hybrid badging appears on the trim near the bottom of the rear doors. The hybrid also has unique headlights with blue accenting. Exterior features include:
- Standard 19-inch wheels
- LED headlights with automatic high-beam system
- Power folding heated side mirrors
InteriorThe 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. Interior features include:
- Power moonroof
- Standard navigation system with 12.3-inch screen
- Mark Levinson premium stereo
- Four-zone air conditioning
- Available rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with 9-inch screen
Under the HoodThe LS was the first vehicle to mate an electric drive system to a V-8, in this case a 5.0-liter engine. 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
- Zero-to-60-mph time of 5.5 seconds, according to Lexus
- 288-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery
- 165-kilowatt electric motor
SafetyThe 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
- Rear-seat side-impact airbags
- Blind spot warning system
- Backup camera
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