For 2008, Lexus's new luxury flagship, the LS600h L, joins the standard-length LS460 and extended-length LS460 L (which were all-new for 2007), and competes with the most exclusive V12 "supersedans" from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. With a high-tech hybrid powertrain underhood, along with all-wheel drive, the LS600h L goes for a different crowd--of affluent buyers who are environmentally conscious.
High-tech, high-roller image; fuel efficiency; very spacious, luxurious interior; exclusivity; all-weather traction.
The 2008 LS600h L showcases Lexus Hybrid Drive, which follows the expertise gained in Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive but is geared more for performance and smoothness that befits a car in this exclusive crowd. The system pairs a 5.0L gasoline V8 engine with two strong electric motors, a system for recapturing power, and a large-capacity battery pack. Altogether, the hybrid powertrain can deliver 438 horsepower, yielding 0 to 60 mph acceleration times of only 5.5 seconds and impressive passing power.
All-wheel drive is part of the package. Power is distributed by a full-time all-wheel-drive system for good traction and stability year round. A Torsen, limited-slip differential helps adjust power distribution; 60 percent goes to the rear wheels under normal driving.
The continuously variable automatic transmission has an "S" mode that simulates the engine-braking action or surges in power that drivers may be accustomed to with gears. There's also a snow mode for limited traction.
The hybrid powertrain in the LS600h L is a full hybrid system, meaning that it's capable of running at low-speed on electric power only. It includes an "EV" drive mode to creep almost silently into driveways or parking garages. It's backed up with one of the most powerful electrical systems in any vehicle, with a 288-volt battery pack and on-board power inverter for the hybrid system, and an auxiliary 12-volt battery for on-board accessories.
The hybrid system also allows the LS600h L to be considerably more frugal than other cars of its size, weight, and power. It achieves model-year 2008 EPA fuel economy figures of 20 mpg city, 22 highway, and is also expected to meet the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) emissions standard.
Compared to other hybrids and to other high-end luxury cars, the LS600h L boasts extremely quiet operation, with extra sound-deadening materials and special vibration-isolating engine mounts.
The steering and suspension are designed to be quiet and isolating, yet communicative enough for confident roadholding. An air-spring suspension helps provide a good compromise between ride and handling, while there are big ventilated disc brakes front and rear. A variable gear ratio steering system and electronic power steering can function with the standard stability control system to make small adjustments to put the car back on course.
It's easy to get distracted with all the technology under the hood, but the LS600h L is also an extremely luxurious car inside, both in the traditional sense and in terms of high-tech features. The extended wheelbase that comes with the "L" affords plenty of legroom in the back seat for even the tallest basketball players, and it's appointed in fine semi-analine leather with leather trim and real stitching. Wood and chrome trim adorn the interior throughout.
Eight air bags are standard on the LS600h L, but up to eleven are available, including individual rear side bags.
Standard features on the LS600h L include an adaptive front lighting system, climate-controlled front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, card-key access, and intuitive park assist. The options list is massive, and the LS600h L can be equipped to rival a Bentley or Rolls-Royce, including climate-controlled rear seats, a reclining rear power seat with massage, a wood-trimmed table, power sunshades, a DVD entertainment system, and even an advanced parking guidance system, which will actually help steer you into a parking spot.
A Limited Edition model is also available; it comes in a unique Truffle Mica exterior with Alabaster and black leather interior, along with a distinctive appearance inside.
According to Lexus, the 2008 LS600h L features the world's first full V8, all-wheel-drive hybrid drivetrain; it provides performance that's similar to that of the top German luxury cars, yet has a combined fuel economy of over 20 mpg. It's also among the best of any car for back-seat space, and offers several high-tech features not otherwise seen in some of the most exclusive competitors, such as the advanced parking guidance system, which helps the car "steer itself" into parking spots.
Vehicle Price: 105,775.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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