Paris show: fastest hybrid in the world
28 September 2006

If you thought the Lexus LS460, with its eight-speed gearbox, ability to park itself and multiple crash-mitigation systems was sophisticated – think again.

This is the new LS600h and not only does it pack a 5.0-litre V8 to the 460’s 4.6, but it also has the latest version of Toyota’s hybrid drivetrain. Together, they make 443bhp – so the 0-60mph time should be comfortably under six seconds.

That power is sent to all four wheels via a CVT gearbox.

Returning to more traditional hybrid values, combined fuel economy is claimed to be 29mpg. Whilst combined cycle figures rarely reflect real-world driving, the 600’s touring economy should significantly better that of a V12-engined saloon.

The other major benefit of the hybrid system is reduced CO2 emissions: the 600 puts out 220 g/km, whereas a Mercedes S600 emits 355 g/km whilst averaging 19mpg.

The 600 augments the LS’s pre-crash safety system with the ability to look for pedestrians as well as other objects in the road ahead – something that’s likely to be an option on the 460.

Inside the luxurious cabin is a climate control system that doesn’t content itself with the 460’s mere four zones of temperature measurement and control. Instead, it monitors the cabin in six areas, adjusting a zone’s temperature if it senses any one occupant is particularly hot or cold.

There will also be a long-wheelbase ‘L’ model, with an additional 120mm of rear legroom.

More stories from the Paris showBaby Rolls on the wayLancia's British returnAlfa's super-sexy supercarThe new AvengerThe Corolla's successorWe check out the JoysterSkoda Joyster Q&AThe next TwingoChevy's diesel WTCC carFord crosses overRenault's small 4x4Volvo C30 in detailAudi unveils the R8

Our Verdict

Lexus LS

The Lexus LS is a huge, high-quality limo. Great refinement, but high running costs and no Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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