In creating the LS 600h, Lexus set out to create a car that delivers the highest standards of performance, design, safety and efficiency. Combining these qualities usually demands a degree of compromise, for example, more power means higher fuel consumption, but thanks to the innovative engineering and advanced hybrid power technology deployed by Lexus, the LS 600h defines new standards in the luxury segment.

The LS 600h is the third production model to use Lexus Hybrid Drive, following the successful launch of the RX 400h and GS 450h. It uses a new, longitudinally-mounted 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine, developed from the 4.6-litre unit featured in the new LS 460, combined with a high-output electric motor and a newly-designed, large capacity battery pack.

Power output from the system is more than 443bhp (449 DIN hp), yet combined fuel consumption is almost 30mpg and carbon dioxide emissions are less than 220g/km.

The new V8 engine features two injectors per cylinder which achieves significant improvements in torque, fuel economy and emissions. It is also equipped with Lexus’s dual VVT-i variable intake and exhaust valve timing system, incorporating VVT-iE, the world’s first electric motor-driven intake camshaft, which operates at all engine speeds and temperatures.

To harness the immense power generated, the LS 600h has a new mechanical all-wheel drive system for improved traction and stability and a dual-stage, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission
(E-CVT) for smooth, linear power delivery.

When driving in low engine efficiency conditions, such as when starting up and at low to mid-range speeds, the
LS 600h runs on its electric motors alone, eradicating both engine noise and CO2 emissions. In normal driving, the V8 engine is the principal power source. During deceleration and under braking, the combustion engine switches off and kinetic energy from the braking is recovered as electrical energy to recharge the battery.

The Lexus LS 600h offers the highest content of sophisticated preventive safety technology in the world, supported by a series of advanced driver assistance features.

The Pre-Crash Safety system, already featured in the IS and GS model ranges, has been developed to provide even better performance, both in daylight and at night. Its features include an Advanced Obstacle Detection System, which uses a millimetre-wave radar and infra-red stereo camera to detect a wide range of obstacles on the road ahead including, for the first time, pedestrians.

The Driver Monitoring System uses a camera mounted on the top of the steering column cover and a series of integrated near-infra-red LEDs to track the movement of the driver’s head. If it determines the driver is looking away from the road ahead at the same time as a collision threat is detected, the system will sound an alert and briefly apply the brakes.

Completing the raft of new preventive safety technologies is the Rear Pre-Crash Safety system, which can detect an imminent rear-end impact, both when the car is moving or stationary. To help protect against whiplash injury, the front seat head restraints are automatically moved up and forwards to cushion the occupant’s head.

The long wheelbase LS 600h L measures 5,150mm, its additional 120mm in the wheelbase dedicated entirely to providing extra rear passenger legroom.

As well as being more spacious, the LS 600h L offers first class comfort, with reclining heated and air conditioned rear seats with leg and foot rests and a unique massage function with different programmes to provide gentle or firm treatment for the back and shoulders.

It also features the world’s first multi-zone automatic climate control air conditioning system that monitors and reacts to human body temperature. A rear seat entertainment system with a separate DVD player and retractable ceiling mounted screen is available, together with a Mark Levinson Reference Surround System with 5.1 home theatre sound reproduction.