‘A BOLDER ULTIMATE LUXURY HYBRID SEDAN’
There are many luxury sedans on today’s market but none combines bold, sleek, sexy, yet elegant styling, with power, performance, luxury, comfort, safety and hybrid technology like the new 2013 Lexus 600h all-wheel drive, long wheelbase, hybrid sedan. This year the LS gets refreshed with the bold new face of Lexus. The aggressive spindle grille gives the new LS a more aggressive look while engineering a significant improvement in driving dynamics, responsiveness and handling. Also up front is a wide bottom lower grille to channel more air into the engine plus another intake for directing air to cool down the front disc brakes. Signifying that it is a hybrid there are blue accents in the front headlamps, front and rear ‘L’ badges, Hybrid side badging on the chrome strip below the doors, taillamps, ‘600h’ rear badge and engine cover. The front lamps are LED daylight running lights, LED turn signals, foglamps, LED low and high beam headlights and Smart beam along with the power-remote/heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal repeater lights. Numerous stabilizing fins, a front spoiler, a rear diffuser and a low 58.3 inch ride height help the new Lexus 600h LWB cut through the air with a very low 0.26 co-efficient of drag. This also increases high speed stability, cuts down on road noise coming into the cabin and enhancing the already high, for a full-size long wheelbase luxury sedan, EPA fuel mileage specs of 19mpg/city and 23mpg/highway.
I have tested many of the world’s best super-luxury sedans but this new Lexus LS 600h LWB hybrid is the best combination of cutting-edge styling, high performance, high-technology, luxurious comfort, convenience, infotainment and safety. It has it all with a base price of $119,910.00. My test LS 600h was custom painted in Lapis Lazuli for an even more outstanding street presence.
The new LS 600h L has new laser screw welding, body adhesives and other structural reinforcements that increases rigidity enhancing stability, steering feel and handling. This car is fun-to-drive in any of the new five drive modes-EV, ECO, Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The 600h L came with the Air Suspension and the Variable Gear Ratio rack & pinion steering that automatically adjusts the damping force for optimal comfort and performance. Any way you want the car to respond to your inputs, it does it with aplomb. Both the front and rear suspensions feature multi-links with the double-jointed air-suspension. The standard AWD system features a central, permanently engaged, Torsen Limited Slip center Differential to further enhance grip, traction and cornering stability.
Power is generated from a 5.0 liter DOHC, all-aluminum V8 with Dual VVT with intelligence and an electronically controlled intake. The hybrid side features Motor Generator 1-Function-a primary generator, engine starter, Type-Permanent Magnet Motor-Cooling System-water cooled; Motor Generator 2-Function-Drives the Wheels, Regenerative Braking, Type-Permanent Magnet Motor, Cooling System-water cooled; Maximum Voltage-650-DC, Maximum Output-221 hp; Hybrid Battery Pack-Nickel plated hydride (NiMH), Cell Quantity-240 cells-12 cells X 20 modules contained in a metal container, Nominal Voltage-288-volts. Total horsepower generated by both systems is 438. The new LS 600h LWD zooms to 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.5 sec. That’s plenty of speed to quickly merge onto fast moving highways and to easily maneuver around slow city traffic.
Slowing this 5,202 pound (with the optional rear seat luxury package) large size sedan down from speed are big, power-assisted, electronically controlled brakes. Up front are 14 inch vented discs clamped with four-piston calipers and 13.8 inch vented discs clamped with 2-piston calipers. Keeping you in control and increasing your braking power when braking on slick or wet pavement are standard ABS, EBD, BA, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control and VDIM which integrates all of these systems to keep you safe and in control during all driving conditions. These brakes are very linear and smooth when applied, softly or hard, and even stronger than regular high-performance brakes with the regenerative braking system.
My fully-loaded LS600h L was shod with large 19X8 inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with 245/45R19 inch low-resistance, all-season radial tires for smooth quiet operation.
The interior feels like you are in the sitting room of a very expensive hotel and the operation of essential elements is refined and intuitive following the L-finesse inspired design theme. I am completely surrounded by leather everywhere including the A-pillars and headliner. New enhancements have been made to the sound insulation for an even quieter cabin to enjoy the optional Mark Levinson Reference Surround System which provides a 5.1 home theater surround with 7.1 architecture, discrete circuitry, 15-channel, ML-16 Processor power amplifier covering a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz and 450 watts with less than 0.1% total harmonic distortion. The sounds come through 19-stretegically located speakers for awesome sounds of your favorite music.
Besides being surrounded by rich soft leather and real aluminum trim, my test LS 600h LWB came with the new, Shimamoku finish wood that is a prime example of the finest of the Japanese traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Shimamoku, translated as ‘striped wood’, involves the painstaking layering of angle-cut dark and light shaded wood veneers in a unique process which involves 67 manufacturing steps over the course of 38 days. The finish is just amazing! It also appears on the leather-wrapped/tilt/telescoping/heated to wheel. The 16-way powered front bucket seats are redesigned to minimize pressure peaks and increase support. Both front seats feature an improved standard heating/cooling system with larger heating areas and reduced heating and cooling times. The heated steering wheel and Positive Temperature Coefficient heating elements which warm the front cabin area quickly after startup are standard. Windshield de-icer and headlamp washers are also standard with AWD.
Also coming standard are acoustic glass windshield, laminated side window glass, ambient lighting, 12-volt outlet in center console and 12-volt outside of center console, blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, heated electrochromic outside rearview mirrors with puddle lamps and power folding function, intuitive parking assist, Smart Access key fob and push button start/stop, carpeted floor mats, 4-zone climate control with heated/cooled rear seats, wood trimmed grab handles, power seatbelt shoulder height adjusters up front, power rear seats with climate control and lumbar massage and butterfly headrest, three-position memory for driver, front passenger and rear seats, analog clock with GPS, radar-sensing cruise control, electrochromic rearview mirror, electroluminescent Thin Film Transistor (TFT) gauges, leather-wrapped gated shifter with sequential sport-shift mode, Homelink programmable garage door opener, all express power windows/door locks, front/rear lighted vanity mirrors, power rear/side windows sunshade, power sunroof, rear cool box, dual cupholders front/rear, storage bins up front and rear, rain-sensing wipers, Hard Disc Drive with 12.3 inch screen, navigation system, Bluetooth hands free phone and phonebook download capabilities, AM-FM/in-dash six disc CD/DVD changer with MP3/WMA compatibility, automatic sound levelizer, aux/MP3 and USB/iPod audio input plugs, digital sound processor, Lexus Enform with App Suite and Safety Connect, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, SOS button, Sirius Satellite radio/Nav Weather/Nav Traffic/Sports/fuel prices, and stocks, charcoal-activated clean air dust and pollen filter, smog sensor, first aid kit, dual stage front driver/front passenger airbags, force limiter and seatbelt pretensioners, front-passenger twin-chamber airbag, front seat-mounted side airbags, knee airbags, side curtain airbags, three-point seatbelts and headrest for all seating areas, rear seat-mounted side airbags. My fully-loaded test LS came with the optional rear seat Blu-Ray DVD 9-inch screen with two wireless headphones and remote control, plus the executive package which includes a power ottoman seat with massage and ottoman knee airbags.
The new 2013 Lexus LS 600h LWB has to be driven to be believed. It has everything that a world-class, full-size luxury sedan would have plus the latest hybrid technology to increase fuel mileage and give the vehicle longer breaks between fuel fill-up’s. It is an awesome automobile and so much fun to drive and enjoy all of the features.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ