Automobile Magazine Compares the Lexus LS 600hL vs. Mercedes S400 Hybrid

Lexus LS 600hL vs. Mercedes S400 Hybrid

Automobile Magazine has an article up on the Lexus LS 600hL and the Mercedes S400 Hybrid and how their approach to hybrid technology compares:

The biggest benefit of the Lexus hybrid system is its smoothness. The two electric motors and two planetary gearsets allow the big V-8 to loaf except during hard acceleration. Flat-out, the LS600hL might not be any faster than the regular LS, but it doles out power far more effortlessly.

The Mercedes, by comparison, feels like a normal V-6-powered S-class. The Benz and the Lexus behave so differently that you realize this isn’t a battle of which car is the better sedan, it’s a clash between two philosophies. The Lexus was admirably early to market, but suddenly it seems that Benz’s more elegant system reaps nearly the same benefits.

This article is dead on—but it’s important to keep in mind that it was a different world when Lexus introduced the LS and GS hybrids. After all, gas was generally reasonable and there wasn’t a global economic meltdown. Instead of boosting the gas mileage, Lexus went and boosted the power performance, in a way that competed with the top of their respective classes (the LSh in particular was aimed directly at the MB S600).

Now that fuel economy is here to stay, I would expect Lexus to revise their hybrid strategy, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see a LS 450h (or something similar) some time in the near future.

[Source: Automobile Magazine]



  1. i never like automobile, but for once they write an honest review.

  2. i think they should severely detune the 4.6 engine and maybe with some lithium batteries, the output can be the same with better mileage past the 30 mark.

    I think the flagship should still emphasize power over economy


  4. ?!
    You’re leaving? Leaving Lexus? forever…?

  5. I think the mag has missed the point here, and I hope you’re wrong that Lexus will amend their stance from performance to economy.
    I test drove a GS450h for a few days whilst visiting UK recently (you can read the road test on my site) and it was then that I finally “got” the Lexus approach.

    In the luxury sector people don’t want to trade down from the effortless performance and smoothness they’ve been used to, and if they really do, they can go diesel or simply get a smaller cheaper car. What Lexus is giving us is the best of both worlds - no compromise.

  6. Let Merc do their own hybrid thing, after all they have models like the S600 & AMG variants. Lexus hybrids should continue to lean slightly more towards the performance side of things while offering great mileage too.

  7. wait wat? why are u leaving?

  8. How hard can it be to put greater emphasis on the different “modes”?

  9. The spied long wheelbase version of the Hyundai Equus is huuuuuuge! I like the size! And it copied the LS 600h L’s headlights!
    I hope Lexus is taking the facelift and next generation seriously.