Lexus Hybrids

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RX Hybrid

Those wishing to go "green" in the lap of luxury now have a willing participant in which to strut their stuff. With its advanced gasoline/electric drivetrain, the Lexus RX 400h SUV combines the luxury and utility of Lexus' RX midsize crossover vehicle with the improved fuel economy and performance of a hybrid.

Available in either front- or all-wheel-drive versions, the Lexus RX 400h uses a hybrid powertrain system that combines a gasoline-fueled V6 engine with a battery pack and electric motor generators. The 400h can accelerate on battery power alone during light acceleration. It also boasts a generous 286 horsepower overall, giving it impressive performance along with superior fuel economy ratings.

The Lexus RX 400h crossover is the only true luxury hybrid SUV, and it comes packaged with all the normal RX traits like premium interior amenities and a smooth ride. But potential SUV buyers simply wishing to go green may also want to check out other, less extravagant hybrids if price is a consideration.

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GS Hybrid

The GS 450 Hybrid is an environmentally friendly luxury sedan that also delivers exceptional performance, attractive styling and a wealth of technological comfort and safety features. However, headroom may be restrictive for taller folks, and the hybrid powertrain adds substantial cost to the vehicle. If you're in the market for a large luxury sedan, you should also consider the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class sedans, and if you are looking for a hybrid, take a look at our list of available Hybrid Vehicles.

The 2008 Lexus GS 450 Hybrid fuses eco-friendly power and fuel economy with luxury sports sedan performance and lots of technology. The 2008 model was declared a "Best in Class" winner for both lowest fuel cost and for retained value by IntelliChoice. Forbes calls the GS 450 Hybrid "a luxury sedan with an environmental heart that powers through turns and breaks new ground at the same time." The Washington Post adds, "It is a pleasant example of dual personality, a happy mixture of 'better' and 'best.'"

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LS Hybrid

The LS 600h L is a V8-powered hybrid luxury sedan. At 202.8 inches, the LS 600h L is the same length as its near-twin LS 460 L. In addition to all the equipment that an LS 460 L carries, the hybrid adds all-wheel drive with a front differential and a Torsen center differential, an additional planetary gearset, two "motor generator" electric motors, a power inverter, a nickel-metal hydride battery, and a long tangle of wires and cables. All of which weighs a ton.

To compensate for the weight increase, Lexus has added stroke to the all-aluminum 4.6-liter V8 it uses in the LS 460. It now displaces 5.0 liters, but the two engines are otherwise nearly identical, with double-overhead cams, 32 valves and variable valve-timing. Rated at 389 horsepower, nine more than the LS 460 V8, the engine feeds a continuously variable transmission that in turn is plumbed into the drivetrain, parallel with the electric motors.

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