When the Lexus LS 600hL was released, the automotive press was quick to point out its “flaws”, especially when it came to gas mileage. Being a hybrid, the flagship sedan was expected to have exceptional fuel economy, and at first glance, that didn’t seem to be the case at all.
It’s taken a few months for some journalists to look at the LS 600hL in a different light. We saw it first with the great review by Jonny Lieberman, and now Automobile Magazine has weighed in with a very positive take:
Unlike most hybrids, the LS isn’t about outright fuel economy – this car’s mission is quite clearly to give the V-8 the relaxed demeanor of a V-12 by eliminating the need to rev it quickly in normal driving. It does that…Twenty-seven mpg on the highway is nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, it’s quite impressive – but the almost-as-quick LS460L is also much less expensive.
If you keep reminding yourself that Lexus doesn’t want the LS to be a Japanese 7-series, you’ll agree that it does a fantastic job at making its driver think he’s driving on a cloud – with a million horsepower under his right foot. And there’s no better reminder of that than feeling big surges of smooth, quiet torque while the tach needle rises lazily to 1300 rpm. Very V-12-like indeed.
Most mainstream reviews ignored the fact that the LSh was meant to go up against V-12 competition, no matter how well it actually performed. Quick fact: the LS 600hL, with its 5.2 second 0-60mph, is actually faster than the V12 Audi A8 (5. & BMW 750iL (5.4). What’s more, it’s only 0.1 seconds slower than a twin-turbo Mercedes S600. Very V-12-like indeed.