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In Depth: Lexus LS600h L

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In Depth: Lexus LS600h L

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Revised: 09/28/2006

September 12, 2006 - Torrance, CA - Unveiled at the 2006 New York International Automobile Show, Lexus' all-new 2008 LS 600h L hybrid luxury sedan is scheduled to arrive in spring 2007. The all-wheel-drive LS 600h L will be the world's first vehicle to feature a full hybrid V8 powertrain.

"The LS 600h L was developed to explore the outer reaches of performance, style and safety," said Bob Carter, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. "It is a vehicle as efficient and familiar as it is indulgent and advanced, a far-reaching concept, fully developed and fully realized. It is simply in a class by itself."

Lexus Hybrid Drive

Coinciding with the debut of the all-new LS is the introduction of the Lexus Hybrid Drive name, which will be used globally for all Lexus hybrid models. The hybrid-drive system in the LS 600h L builds upon the Lexus legacy established by the RX 400h and GS 450h to combine an all-new five-liter V8 gasoline engine with large, high-output electric motors and a newly designed large-capacity battery pack. This advanced combination will provide the LS 600h L with an unmatched balance of environmental efficiency and performance, furnishing the hybrid with a peak combined output rating of more than 430 horsepower.

To distribute this immense power, a new full-time all-wheel-drive system is utilized for superior handling control. The LS 600h L also employs a newly developed dual-stage electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. This combination results in impressive power and seamless acceleration.

The Lexus Hybrid Drive system found in the LS 600h L is the automotive industry's most advanced gas-electric hybrid system developed to date. The hybrid system results in seamless power and very impressive passing speed. It will deliver power and performance on a par with modern 12-cylinder engines, while still delivering best-in-V8-class fuel efficiency.

The LS hybrid is expected to carry a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) rating. A SULEV rating means the LS 600h L has nearly 70 percent fewer emissions than the "cleanest" of its competitors.

"It is fair to say that to our knowledge there is nothing on the road, or on the drawing board, that comes close to delivering such a formerly contradictory combination of jaw-dropping engine performance, fuel efficiency and fewer emissions," Carter said.

Owing to the inherent noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) improvements offered by its hybrid powertrain, the LS 600h L is designed to set a new standard for silent running in the prestige-luxury sedan class. The depth and density of cabin quietness in the LS 600h L required extensive re-engineering of accessory motors and switches.

With "quiet-ride" ranking as one of the top five reasons for purchase of prestige-luxury vehicles, especially among current LS owners, the LS 600h L is well-situated in its class and poised to please the exacting luxury-car buyer. Its NVH levels are about half that found in conventional cars, making the hybrid LS one of the quietest automobiles ever built, if not the quietest.

High-Output V8 and World's First Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission

The LS 460 and LS 460 L will be powered by an all-new, highly advanced 4.6-liter V8 engine that will produce approximately 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a world-first eight-speed automatic transmission, these LS sedans will travel from zero-to-sixty miles per hour in 5.4 seconds. Even with this level of performance, the new LS sedans are expected to receive a combined city/highway mileage of 23 mpg as well as an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) rating.

Advanced Active Safety Technologies

Coinciding with the launch of the hybrid model is a newly developed, Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS) that is unlike any system ever before offered by Lexus. One element of APCS is a new system designed to help detect pedestrians in the vehicle's path.

Two small cameras mounted at the front of the car, in conjunction with millimeter-wave radar, are sensitive enough to detect not just large metal obstructions such as cars but also smaller nonmetallic objects, such as humans.

A third camera, mounted on the steering column, monitors the orientation of the driver's face. If the camera sees that the driver is not looking directly ahead for a few seconds or more, and if an obstacle is detected ahead, then it alerts the driver first with a warning chime and a flashing light. To assist the driver in maneuvering around the obstacle, the system reprograms the steering ratio, amplifying the intensity and quickness of the steering response.

While all of this is happening, the system automatically retracts the seat-belt restraints for driver and front passenger and prepares the brake system to respond with increased force when activated by the driver in anticipation of a possible impact.

Dynamic Driving

These unique active safety systems team with Lexus' proprietary next-generation Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, standard on all new LS models, which integrates Electric Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Electronic Control Brakes (ECB), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

An air suspension system equipped with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) will be standard on the LS 600h L and an option on the LS 460 L. VGRS optimizes the steering gear ratio according to vehicle speed to help enhance responsiveness and driver control. VGRS also partners with VDIM, making minor adjustments to front-wheel angle for improved control in challenging road conditions.

Together these technologies make up an intelligently designed, logically conceived vehicle that helps to provide a level of confidence and control never before experienced.

L-finesse

The styling on the new LS begins with a daring design language that shatters the myth that luxury sedans must be sedate and understated. A result of the recent design direction Lexus deems L-finesse, the new LS vehicles are the crowning touch to a fully restyled car lineup, which already includes the GS, IS and ES sedans.

The L-finesse design philosophy has its roots in creating a balance of contrasting elements. The new LS encompasses this direction with its bold look, style and personality—both vivid and forceful while at the same time warm, inviting and contemporary. With a pulled-back hood, characteristic of the new Lexus look, low-to-the- ground stance and elegantly sculpted and streamlined body contours, the LS emphasizes simplicity and style in a stunning, modern package.

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Premium Appointments

The new LS 600h L will not only offer the highest level of performance, safety and technological advancements, it will also provide the highest level of comfort, convenience and roominess of the three distinctly different LS models.

Both the hybrid and the LS 460 L's long-wheelbase models bring 4.8 inches of additional legroom for rear passengers. They also can be outfitted with a long list of luxury conveniences that includes four-zone front and rear air conditioning with air purification, rear-door power sunshades and rear power headrests, a unique four-person seating configuration with a fixed rear console and fold-out wood table, with a right rear-seat 45-degree recliner with leg rest and multifunction massage.

Technology amenities on the long-wheelbase models will include voice-activated hard disk drive (HDD) Navigation with Bluetooth® technology and XM real-time traffic system, a first in the prestige luxury segment, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with power nine-inch drop-down screen, and the specially developed 19-speaker 450-watt Mark Levinson® Reference Surround Sound audio system, which creates a new standard for automotive sound systems. In addition, the LS 600h L will be the world's first vehicle to be equipped with LED headlights for nighttime and low-beam use.

The LS will also be the first Lexus to offer XM satellite radio as a factory-installed option. The all-new LS sedans will all offer an Advanced Parking Guidance System. The driver simply selects a parking spot, lines up the vehicle and pushes a button and the system parks the car with just a little brake work by the driver.

Like all LS-series vehicles, the LS 600h L's intelligent and evocative design carries through to the beautifully appointed cabin. Extra luxury and comfort touches include a heated steering wheel and seats wrapped in one of four tones of semi-aniline leathers matched to one of three coordinating wood-grain trims.

Craftsmanship

While the list of comfort, convenience and luxury features on the new LS-series

vehicles is remarkable, another truly defining aspect of these cars is their superb craftsmanship. In order to build a vehicle that would redefine "world's best," Lexus started by improving a production process widely recognized as the industry's finest.

The new LS 600h L as well as the LS 460 and LS 460 L are the result of an all-new build process developed specifically for the LS line at Lexus' award-winning Tahara, Japan, plant. With this extraordinary investment in engineering expertise comes a luxury sedan that achieves extraordinary new levels of fit, finish, accuracy and refinement. The all-new LS sedans showcase the Lexus belief that every element and phase of production is vital and that building cars is more than just a business—it is an art form.

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...smaller nonmetallic objects, such as humans.

Lexus is so in touch.

Also, the SWB versions don't have load-leveling suspensions? How cheap.

As said, why would you ever want to drive this thing?

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but also smaller nonmetallic objects, such as humans.

199171[/snapback]

:blink: ...

Is it just me, or does this description sound really creepy to the rest of you...

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Lexus is so in touch.

Also, the SWB versions don't have load-leveling suspensions? How cheap.

As said, why would you ever want to drive this thing?

199217[/snapback]

430 horsepower. That's why.

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430 horsepower. That's why.

199227[/snapback]

An MCI motorcoach has 435hp, but how much fun is that to drive?

760i has 438hp

E55 has 469hp

STS-V has 469hp

M5 has 500hp

S600 has 510hp

All of which are almost undoubtedly much for fun to drive. Look better, too.

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Well, Im not sure which model it was but Tommy Kendall and Danny Sullivan did a Lexus hybrid test drive at Infinion Speedway for SPEED. They were very positive about the cars total performance and packaging.

but never mind that

we need more ....................."hummers"................. :stupid:

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are sensitive enough to detect not just large metal obstructions such as cars but also smaller nonmetallic objects, such as humans.

LOLOLOLOL

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760i has 438hp

E55 has 469hp

STS-V has 469hp

M5 has 500hp

S600 has 510hp

All of which are almost undoubtedly much for fun to drive. Look better, too.

199238[/snapback]

None of them are anywhere near as quiet, offer the fuel economy or SULEV emissions rating.

Of course the build quality of the above cars excluding the 7er are total garbage next to the LS. One's a premium flagship the others aren't even close.

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None of them are anywhere near as quiet, offer the fuel economy or SULEV emissions rating.

199415[/snapback]

So, you've driven one? How does it ride?

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So, you've driven one? How does it ride?

199514[/snapback]

Have you driven any of the above cars?

There are plenty of folks who'd prefer to own an LS600h over an M5, E63 or STS-V.

I have yet to see a single STS-V on the road, so nobody who can afford one wants to own one.

I see way more 750i's and S500's than M5's and E55's, indicating people with $100k to spend clearly prefer luxury over performance. And that's exactly the market Lexus is aiming for.

$100k sport psuedo-luxury sedans are built for magazine editors, not the public.

People who want high-performance cars buy them. That's why 911's and C6 Z06's sell and STS-V's and to a lesser extent M5's don't.

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I have yet to see a single STS-V on the road, so nobody who can afford one wants to own one.

People who want high-performance cars buy them.  That's why 911's and C6 Z06's sell and STS-V's and to a lesser extent M5's don't.

199552[/snapback]

I've seen three so far. All different. Clearly someone wants them. Also, I don't know where you're getting the impression that they don't sell every -V, M, and AMG they make, but I can say with much confidence they do. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean no one is buying them.

Anyway, if you'd read the thread again, you'll see my response was meant for the 430hp comment. 430hp doesn't make a car fun to drive and what you said about those who want luxury over performance is exactly what I was saying. There's also something special about being able to hustle around four people in a massive, heavy, well-planted sedan while being swathed in luxury. Performance luxury sedans are cars that can do it all, so to speak. No, they won't beat a real sports car on the track, but you can actually live with an S600 or STS-V on a daily basis.

I would never spend that amount of money on such a vehicle that felt so boring and numb to drive, like the S500 or every LS ever made. The point stands that Lexus is going to build a car that's vomiting up technology and coddlements to the point where its more enjoyable to ride in the car than drive it. Certainly, I'd love to be driven around in one, but why would I want to waste my time driving it?

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I'd love to be driven around in one, but why would I want to waste my time driving it?

Id hate to say it, but the very same thing can and has been said of all Buick and Oldsmobile flagships for decades. Lexus is mostly responsible for KiLLinG us................so somebody wants that kind of thing, and here it is fitting in with the green scheme of things.

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Have you driven any of the above cars?

There are plenty of folks who'd prefer to own an LS600h over an M5, E63 or STS-V. 

I have yet to see a single STS-V on the road, so nobody who can afford one wants to own one.

I see way more 750i's and S500's than M5's and E55's, indicating people with $100k to spend clearly prefer luxury over performance.  And that's exactly the market Lexus is aiming for.

$100k sport psuedo-luxury sedans are built for magazine editors, not the public. 

People who want high-performance cars buy them.  That's why 911's and C6 Z06's sell and STS-V's and to a lesser extent M5's don't.

199552[/snapback]

One thing my Caddy dealer told me about the STS-v (here in California) is that it's SALE-proof.....

They can't sell STS-v's to save their lives.

The CTS-v...? No problem....it's a pretty good seller....even with the manual transmission.

The dealer feels that the STS-v is way too expensive......$70K-$80K buys alot of VERY nice luxury/sport cars.....

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One thing my Caddy dealer told me about the STS-v (here in California) is that it's SALE-proof.....

They can't sell STS-v's to save their lives.

The CTS-v...?  No problem....it's a pretty good seller....even with the manual transmission.

The dealer feels that the STS-v is way too expensive......$70K-$80K buys alot of VERY nice luxury/sport cars.....

199616[/snapback]

Probably because after 2 years it'll be worth $35K.

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Yea, I dont get the pricing of that STS-V myself. We have looked them over and I much prefer the cleaned up body compared to the CTS but the square cornered interior is not real exciting and that extra $20,000 for a supercharged N* fails the calulator test. I know its a hell of a motor but it seems to me they literally want an extra 20,000 for it.

I assume this is one of the Caddys that is now selling with "up to $6000 off sticker".

Lov the body though. Otto, had all three V's sitting side by side with the less expensive models side by side, beside them, it was a nice display for exterior comparision. No V's were sold during June/July and the last time we cruised through in Aug all three still sat there. XLR V is exxxxxxxxxpensive and again with this squared off corner interior thats just not inviting. Luv the body though... :stupid:

Whos running this show ?

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Id hate to say it, but the very same thing can and has been said of all Buick and Oldsmobile flagships for decades. Lexus is mostly responsible for KiLLinG us................so somebody wants that kind of thing, and here it is fitting in with the green scheme of things.

199577[/snapback]

:yes:

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I echo the comments about full size luxury sedans. Such a small percentage of them on the road seem to be the performance tuned versions, Lexus isn't giving up much other than bragging rights by not offering a more sporting version.

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One thing my Caddy dealer told me about the STS-v (here in California) is that it's SALE-proof.....

They can't sell STS-v's to save their lives.

The CTS-v...?  No problem....it's a pretty good seller....even with the manual transmission.

The dealer feels that the STS-v is way too expensive......$70K-$80K buys alot of VERY nice luxury/sport cars.....

199616[/snapback]

I've seen a couple... One was on the 405 N driving through the OC.

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This car was far overdue. It's about time a large luxury marque released a hybrid 60,000+ vehicle. Gas mileage is one of the deciding factors when buying such a car after all.

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I've seen three so far. All different. Clearly someone wants them. Also, I don't know where you're getting the impression that they don't sell every -V, M, and AMG they make, but I can say with much confidence they do. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean no one is buying them.

Anyway, if you'd read the thread again, you'll see my response was meant for the 430hp comment. 430hp doesn't make a car fun to drive and what you said about those who want luxury over performance is exactly what I was saying. There's also something special about being able to hustle around four people in a massive, heavy, well-planted sedan while being swathed in luxury. Performance luxury sedans are cars that can do it all, so to speak. No, they won't beat a real sports car on the track, but you can actually live with an S600 or STS-V on a daily basis.

I would never spend that amount of money on such a vehicle that felt so boring and numb to drive, like the S500 or every LS ever made. The point stands that Lexus is going to build a car that's vomiting up technology and coddlements to the point where its more enjoyable to ride in the car than drive it. Certainly, I'd love to be driven around in one, but why would I want to waste my time driving it?

199555[/snapback]

The people who like Lucernes and DTSes -- those who prefer absolute luxury over sportiness -- are the sort of people who'll buy LS460s.

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