The Lexus brand embodies the essence of luxury. The combination of excellent quality, bulletproof reliability, overall elegance and state-of-the-art technology defines a comprehensive range of highly desirable cars, crossovers and SUVs. It would not be an overstatement to refer to each model in the lineup as an aspirational vehicle.
Just as Lexus strives for perfection in every vehicle it develops, it’s also constantly searching for new ways to offer its acclaimed luxury in a more environmentally friendly manner.
The introduction of Lexus Hybrid Drive in the RX crossover in 2005 made Lexus a trailblazer. Fast forward to 2011, and Lexus stands without peer when it comes to the inclusion of gasoline-electric hybrids in its lineup. The hybrid lineup stands at five models that cater to everyone from the first-time luxury buyer to the discerning individual who wants genuine opulence.
Put more simply, in 2011, Lexus has a hybrid for everyone.
2011 Lexus CT 200h
The newest Lexus hybrid is also the newest Lexus. At a base MSRP of just $29,120, it’s also the least costly, and with EPA-estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg city/40 mpg highway/42 mpg combined, it’s also the most fuel-efficient Lexus. As if that weren’t enough, its sporty, five-door styling and sprightly performance make it one of the most entertaining cars to arrive in 2011. The CT 200h is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine combined with an electric motor for a total system output of 134 hp. Drivers can choose between “Normal,” “ECO,” “SPORT” and “EV” (electric-only) driving modes on demand. Inside, Lexus-typical attention to detail manifests itself in the ways you’d expect, and maybe in some that you wouldn’t. The CT 200h can be equipped with LED headlamps that consume 45 percent less energy than standard lamps. The audio system’s available eight-channel amplifier uses half the power of a comparable analog amp and weighs less, too. The eco-friendly theme continues with the use of bioplastics in the rear cargo area deck boarding trim and bamboo charcoal resin in the sound system’s speakers.
2011 Lexus HS 250h
If you prefer a more traditional sedan to a sporty five-door sedan, the 2011 Lexus HS 250h (MSRP starting at $35,600) delivers the goods: Plenty of standard luxury along with excellent fuel economy. At the heart of everything is the HS’ version of the Lexus Hybrid Drive formula. Here, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder is combined with a permanent-magnet electric motor to deliver a combined system total of 187 hp. That’s enough to propel the HS 250h from zero-to-60 mph in just 8.4 seconds, hit a top speed of 112 mph and still deliver an EPA-estimated 35 mpg city/34 mpg highway/35 mpg combined. Here again, the driver can pick between “Power,” “ECO” and “EV” driving modes on demand. Add in standard luxury amenities like leather seats and a 10-speaker Premium Audio System, as well as available upgrades such as HDD Navigation, Intuitive Parking Assist and a Mark Levinson® audio system, and you can build a compact luxury sedan whose appointments are surpassed only by its efficiency.
2011 Lexus RX 450h
The Lexus RX hybrid is the vehicle that started the automaker down the “green luxury” path, and the latest iteration, the 2011 Lexus RX 450h (MSRP $43,935 for the FWD model), remains the standard-bearer. Available with standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive, the RX 450h’s version of Lexus Hybrid Drive combines a 3.5-liter V6 and front (in FWD models) or front and rear (AWD models) electric motors to deliver a muscular 295 hp total system output. The setup lets the RX 450h sip fuel at a rate of 32 mpg city/28 mpg highway/30 mpg combined in FWD trim, or 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway/29 mpg combined in the AWD edition. The RX hybrid is as well appointed as its conventionally-powered counterpart, and can likewise be outfitted with everything from heated and ventilated seats to an audiophile-quality 15-speaker, 330-watt Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.
2011 Lexus GS 450h
An all-out performance sedan that’s also a hybrid? That is the 2011 Lexus GS 450h (MSRP $58,050) in a nutshell. Sleek styling and an assertive, muscular stance lets everyone know that this hybrid packs serious underhood punch. The rear-wheel drive GS 450h’s 3.5-liter V6 is partnered with an electric motor to deliver 340 combined horsepower. With that muscle on tap, the GS hybrid rockets from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. In keeping with its sporting nature, the Lexus GS 450h boasts a dual exhaust, performance brakes and an available Active Power Stabilizer Suspension System to minimize body roll during turns. Despite all that power and high performance, the GS hybrid still posts an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/25 mpg highway/23 mpg combined. And obviously, the full roster of standard and available Lexus amenities is on tap.
2011 Lexus LS 600h L
The Lexus LS 600h L (MSRP $111,350) is the brand’s hybrid flagship and is the ultimate embodiment of everything Lexus stands for. The long-wheelbase, all-wheel drive super-luxury sedan is outfitted with the most powerful Lexus Hybrid Drive System available. The 5.0-liter V8/high-output electric motor combination combines for 438 total horsepower, which propels the big Lexus LS Hybrid from zero-to-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Maximum speed is 130 mph, yet the LS 600h L still manages to deliver an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway/20 mpg combined. The superb powertrain is only one of the highlights in this fully equipped sedan whose whisper-quiet interior is loaded with standard technology like HDD navigation and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound audio system. Premium leather adorns all the seats, and notable upgrades include an available Executive Class Seating Package that adds heated and cooled rear seats with lumbar massage, a power recliner with a leg rest and multi-function massager for the right rear passenger, four-zone climate control with infrared rear-seat temp sensor and a rear-seat entertainment system.
No matter what level of vehicle you seek, Lexus has a hybrid that will meet your needs and satisfy your desire for a more environmentally sustainable driving experience.