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TALKING TORQUE Feel free to discuss your Driving Experience in all other models as well!

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Old 31st March 2008, 06:59 AM
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Styria Styria is offline
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Default Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

When one owns "an old banger" or dinosaur of an aged vehicle such as my 6.9, you ask yourself from time to time if you're really still on the ball as far as quality and satisfaction of car ownership are concerned. You know, fuel consumption, enviromental and safety issues, predictability of handling and road behaviour - all issues that come to mind as times keep moving on at an ever increasing pace.

As we all know, much play has been made of Lexus quality for many years now, and Toyota has thrown the mantle at the likes of Mercedes, BMW et al as a viable alternative in the luxury car segment. So, when the opportunity arose thanks to the courtesy of one of our Topklasse members to sample a short drive as a passenger in the latest Lexus Hybrid model, I was more than interested and I also had the opportunity, albeit briefly, to have a closer look at the interior furnishings and fittings as well.

Interior wise, it is an impressive car, and I was particularly taken by the clarity of the instrument panel which has quite exquisite, almost jewel like in appearance, dials and instruments. There is everything that opens and shuts, heated and cooled , as well as fully adjustable seats front and back, 19 speaker sound system...you know, the complete works - I don't think one could ask for any extras. For someone like myself that is happy with basic comforts and a lack of understanding and usage of modern electronics, it would probably take me six months to appreciate the full extent of what has been built into the car. How much of it is necessary to get from point A to point B safely and comfortably ? Not all that much, when compared with my 'Gleaming Beauty' - yes, I'd love to have a reversing camera, no I don't need a car to park itself, ABS would be handy, I can do without Sat Nav, don't need heated or cooled seats but hey, if you've got the necessaries by way of the folding stuff, you'd probably insist on all the goodies you'll find in this Lexus.

What about the mechanics -eight speed gearbox, quad overhead cam 4.6 litres with all hi-tech features ?..hmm. Acceleration is impressive enough with magazine times of 5.9 seconds to the magic 100 mark, yet it did not feel that much faster than my 6.9 and, yes, you CAN hear the engine under hard acceleration - the same as my 'Gleaming Beauty'....and again yes, you cannot hear any exhaust noise from the muffling system, but I much prefer real sound coming from the 6.9 exhaust system, with the 450's and 280's even more satisfying in that regard.

Ridewise and insulation from road noise - I really think that a well set-up 6.9 would give very little to the Lexus, if anything at all. I was surprised at the tyre hum being transmitted to the interior, probably accentuated by the fact that the Lexus is eerily quiet whilst on the move - in that regard, the Lexus is probably very similar to the new Chrysler which I drove some weeks ago.

I am afraid that I am an 'old car' person - I am happy and satisfied with what I have (with all its apparent and hidden short-comings), I need heart and soul, and audible communication and what really clinches it for me is the price of the Lexus -$220k.'s. You can buy the same car in the states for $US60k. Regards, Styria
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Old 31st March 2008, 11:15 AM
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Michel Michel is offline
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Styria.....

This information you have provided about the Lexus Hybrid is not the vehicle you drove.
You were in possession of an LS600hL. Please allow me to proivide some (offical Lexus) press information:

The Lexus LS 600hL combines 14.3-second standing 400-metre acceleration with 9.3-litre/100km fuel economy1.
It is rated as a SULEV (super-low emission vehicle) in the United States.
The Lexus LS 600hL has 290kW of power at 6400rpm and 520Nm of torque at 4000rpm from its 5.0-litre quad-cam V8 petrol engine.
Its 650-volt electric drive motor delivers 165kW of power and 300Nm of torque, with that torque available from zero rpm.

LS 600hL's hybrid system blends the two power sources according to operating conditions to provide a maximum 327kW of power - equivalent to a six-litre petrol engine.
The electric motor drives through a two-stage motor speed reduction device.

The combined power of the two power sources is fed through a clutchless eight-step Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) and a Torsen® transfer to the front and rear axles.

An EV mode2 allows the vehicle to operate at speeds up to 40km/h on electric power only - for example in car parks and residential areas - to minimise noise and emissions.

The LS 600hL 2UR-FSE engine is a development of LS 460's 1UR-FSE powerplant, with the stroke increased from 83.0mm to 89.5mm for a swept volume of 4969cc.

The hybrid system in LS 600hL utilises the electric variable inlet valve timing on the Lexus V8 engine.

The intelligent VVT-iE system provides an extended range of inlet camshaft retardation to provide smoother engine petrol start and engine stop for hybrid operation.

LS 600hL stops its petrol engine whenever possible (including when the vehicle is stationary) to save fuel and reduce emissions.

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Last edited by Michel; 14th April 2008 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 31st March 2008, 03:26 PM
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abl567 abl567 is offline
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Styria View Post
- yes, I'd love to have a reversing camera. Regards, Styria
Good for those pointless low brick walls at the entrance to driveways I've heard
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Old 31st March 2008, 04:29 PM
Bandolero Bandolero is offline
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Ah!!!!.......But will it be around in 30 years time.

You may say that our cars are "old hat", but how much is that Lexus???

Wait till all that electronics goes haywire.

I'm glad I own old cars, at least we can work on them ourselves.
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Old 31st March 2008, 04:36 PM
BenzBoy BenzBoy is online now
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Well I enjoyed my ride in the Lexus - even though I did not get to try the massage function in the back seat!!!! I was impressed by the eerie quiet as the needle spun past 100kph on the Autobahn and I am sure it was close to 160kph when my gaze turned to the fiendish grin of the driver who was clearly enjoying himself - and all that before we had even come to the first corner.
However, I'm a bit with you Styria. Where was the soul? Where was the interest? Where was the mechanical essence of motoring? Would I swap it for my Spirit? No. Would Styria swap it for his 6.9? No. Would the driver swap it for his Spur? Well, you will have to ask him....he was rather taken by the infra-red headphones in the back seat....
Oh, and the wood - hardly walnut with boxwood cross-banding, was it? In fact we wondered if it might be Formica!!
Regards,
BenzBoy
Edit - for pricing see - http://www.lexus.com/models/LSh/features/pricing.html
and for pricing in Australia see - http://www.lexus.com.au/model/ls600hl/pricing
Do the maths and then ask why....

Last edited by BenzBoy; 31st March 2008 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 1st April 2008, 04:29 AM
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Styria Styria is offline
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Hi abl567 - you ought to talk but, then again, you have never spoken a truer word ! As it is, I have that towing tongue sticking out from my genuine 116 Tow Bar that's been serving as a reversing camera - albeit not all that successful !

Michel - thanks for clarifying that for me and I do apologize if I have led anyone up the garden path. What I find even more pertinent with the information that you have provided, are the horsepower figures and standing start acceleration times for the quarter mile - and I'm thinking 6.9 comparison times.

As I said, the Lexus did not seem all that much quicker than the 6.9 - seat of the pants feel. Now, here we have the absolute pinnacle of electronic wizardry (engine wise) and then the humble 6.9 that is rated at 100 kilowatts lower, with similar torque figures and we all know that, at the back wheels, the 6.9 is flat out bettering in excess of 175 bhp. Pretty modest, isn't it ? 0-100, the 6.9 misses out by about a second and a half to the Lexus, yet when the two cars arrive at standing quarter times, there is only about a second in it ! It just doesn't quite seem to add up, or am I again talking through my hat ? Regards, Styria

P.S. Maybe the Japanese ponies are a bit smaller than the German ones !
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Old 1st April 2008, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Speaking as one who enjoys new cars as well as old cars the problem with the new cars is a lack of interest - call it soul if you like.

However nothing compares with a new car for making sure you actually arrive on time and unflustered and many of the toys are absolutely brilliant.

When there are children or pets around Reversing Cameras should be mandatory - they are brilliant. They also work well when manouvreing large vehicles in small parking areas.

I have not driven the LS 600 or whatever but I did drive their 4WD version with the hybrid system and while I though it "very nice" I was somewhat underwhelmed and would be extremely concerned for it's long term running costs past the usual 4 year lease period as well as the usual clunks and jerks that seem to develop in most cars after the first gloss has worn off.

If you want real economy in a big car get a Turbo-diesel, if you must - like my wife does. But I still prefer a "real" V8 with a "real" hydraulic connection between engine and wheels.

Bill
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Old 1st April 2008, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Lexus LS 460 Hybrid

Never spoken a truer word after I tapped said pointless wall with the front bumper of the 6.3 this morning on the way to work this morning /! No damage to the wall, or the 6.3.
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