Despite being a hybrid, the LS600h really isn’t that green. Lexus claims CO2 emissions of 199g/km and combined economy is rated at 32.8mpg. That’s impressive for something with a 5.0-litre V8 under its bonnet, but dig a little deeper in the class and its green credentials are soon challenged.
All of the LS’s chief rivals – BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Mercedes S-Class – offer smaller-capacity diesel engine options, so the LS600h is nowhere near the top of the class on economy or CO2. We’ve hardly scratched the surface of all the technology packed into this car. Some of it is needed, some of it isn’t, and some we just can’t judge without deliberately crashing the car. However, Mercedes are at the forefront of extending what is possible in a passenger car, while the BMW 7 Series has upped its game to offer cutting edge technology in its luxury saloon.
The LS600h is comparable with the 4.7-litre V8-powered Mercedes S500. That car boasts 33.6mpg and 196g/km, and comes in at £92,725. You may need to add a chauffeur’s salary on top, for while it’s surprisingly engaging to drive, the best place to be is the back, especially if you get the long-wheelbase car, with its optional individual ‘ottoman’ chairs. Although, the BMW 740Le and Mercedes-Benz S500 plug-in hybrids are direct rivals and aiming to take the gloss off of the LS's main selling point.