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Instead of offering a V-12 engine at the top of the lineup for its LS sedan—as Mercedes-Benz does with its S-Class, or BMW with its 7-Series, for instance—Lexus combines a 5.0-liter V-8 and a hybrid drive system, altogether making 438 horsepower. A special hybrid system supplements the gasoline engine when needed, and captures energy when decelerating or braking, storing it in a battery pack.
Overall, because it's several hundred pounds heavier, the LS 600h doesn't move any faster than the LS 460. But does feel especially responsive when you need a quick burst of power for passing, and fuel economy is superb, at 20 mpg city, 22 highway.
With the adaptive suspension in the LS 600h L—featuring three modes, Comfort, Power, and Sport—the big sedan can corner quite well, but the driving experience remains very detached—mainly due to the rather numb steering response.
The LS 600h L comes with even more standard-feature content—to the point that you might want to find a chauffeur. Upgrades include the excellent Mark Levinson audio system, and heated and cooled rear seats, fold-down wooden trays, a rear cooler box, and an ottoman-style seat are all on offer. So is an Executive Class Seating Package, which brings Rolls-caliber seating.
For more information on the LS 600h L, please see our full review on the 2011 Lexus LS 460.