|The top-end Lexus 600h L: The “exclamation point” to the brand.|
Toyota’s Lexus division introduced its new flagship at the New York International Auto Show today: the 2008 Lexus LS 600h L. This hybrid version of the recently-introduced LS 460 (earlier post) combines a new 5.0-liter gasoline direct-injection V8 with large, high-output electric motors and a newly-designed battery pack to deliver more than 430 horsepower (321 kW).
Lexus expects the vehicle to earn a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) rating. By comparison, the LS 460, the 600h’s conventional counterpart, uses a 4.6-liter V8 that delivers 380 hp and earns a ULEV II rating. Lexus is positioning the 600h as delivering the power and performance of a 12-cylinder with best-in-class V8 fuel efficiency.
Lexus expects the V8-powered LS 460 to earn a combined city/highway mileage rating in the low 20s.
The 600h uses a new full-time all-wheel-drive system, and employs a newly developed dual-stage electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. The 460 models are rear-wheel drive and use a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The LS made quite a definitive statement. Today we’d like to add an exclamation point to that statement. The LS hybrid is that exclamation point.
It’s a vehicle developed to explore the outer reaches of performance, style, safety and technology. A vehicle as efficient and familiar as it is indulgent and advanced...—Bob Carter, Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager
Coinciding with the debut of the all-new LS is the introduction of the Lexus Hybrid Drive name, which Lexus will now use globally for all its hybrid models.
The LS 600h L—which will be offered only with the long wheelbase (the “L”) in North America—will go on-sale in April 2007, six months after the LS 460 and LS 460 L launch in October 2006. More details will emerge closer to the sale introduction.