I’ll admit, it was somewhat disappointing that the Lexus LS 600hL review in The Times wasn’t written by Jeremy Clarkson, but Stuart Birch gives it his best shot, including some interesting stats on the customers Lexus plans to reel in, along with a rather interesting question:
Lexus says that about 10 per cent of buyers will have previously owned a Bentley and 60 per cent will have had a Mercedes-Benz SClass or BMW 7 Series. The Mercedes and BMW, together with the excellent Audi A8, are arguably its nearest rivals, each available with diesel engines that have relatively modest fuel consumption and emissions figures, without electric motor assistance.
So to achieve exceptional frugality, why does Lexus not produce a diesel-electric hybrid for Europe? It would have to refine vibration, noise and some other issues, but Lexus is doubtless sufficiently clever to achieve that. And the added cost of a diesel engine at Lexus’s heady price levels should not be a problem.
Why doesn’t Lexus produce a diesel-electric hybrid, not just for Europe, but for the rest of their world markets? This could be key at increasing the LS 600hL’s rather mediocre gas mileage, and go a long way to calm the recent press decrying Lexus for cashing in on their hybrid technology.