It is very heavy and vast, weighing in at a hefty 2340kg. And you can feel it, even in Sport Plus mode. As with all modern Lexus vehicles though, there is plenty of communication through the steering wheel and chassis/suspension.
The steering is lovely and precise, and you always know what the wheels and body are doing. It feels sharp and connected to the road, and surprisingly agile if you want to toss it through a series of tight corners. The F Sport brakes also do a very commendable job of halting the cruiser, time and time again.
Playing around the driving mode settings can be fun, initially. After enjoying the grandeur of this car, you soon come to realise this is not a sports sedan. There is relatively little difference between Sport and Sport Plus modes, in our opinion. The latter simply gives you abrupt spikes in petrol engine power – sometimes when you’re not necessarily calling for it – and some added V8 noise.
What we recommend, and what most buyers are likely to do, is simply leave it in the normal setting. This is the best setting we think. There is loads of torque on hand should you need to conduct a swift overtaking move, while the ride and comfort during these bursts makes you feel like you are sliding down a slippery dip of custard.
The powertrain is equally appeasing, with a gentle roar from the V8 letting you know there’s substantial force under the hood if you need it. The torque on hand is mighty (combined figure unknown), providing a trusty and majestic temperament. While the CVT transmission is far from sporty, like most CVTs, it seems quite fitting and in tune with the effortless cruising behaviour of the car.
Although the LS 600h F Sport isn’t meant to be a sports car, it presses on just fine, gaining momentum with surging torque from the V8 and electrical hybrid system. We timed 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds, which is brisk enough to pull away from most traffic, and plenty of oomph for overtaking. Under full power, it is eerily quiet, and it can be a bit deceiving; you’re often going a lot faster than you think.
This brings us to the ‘EV’ driving mode. In electric mode, the LS 600h can be driven using zero petrol. However, it is only possible at car park speeds, and during initial take off. As a result, the big 600 is quite efficient. We averaged 11L/100km during our mixing driving style test, which is not bad for a two-tonne V8 penthouse suite. (The official average is 8.6L/100km.)
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013