The LS 600hL is the pinnacle of Toyota and Lexus engineering. It is the largest Lexus sedan, the brand’s most expensive model, the most expensive hybrid in the world and, with the death of BMW’s V8 ActiveHybrid system, it is once again the most powerful hybrid on sale. Yet the LS 600hL hasn’t had an easy time of things. The large luxury sedan has been lambasted for being the antithesis of green thanks to its EPA combined 20 MPG score. Critics also question whether the 600hL’s enormous premium over the LS 460L can ever be “justified.” I too questioned the logic behind the 600hL at first, but then I spoke with someone who changed my mind. Before we dive in, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The 600hL starts at $119,910. With all the options checked, you land at $134,875. Without destination. Put your eye balls back in their sockets and click past the jump as we dive into an alternate universe.
Mercedes-Benz more or less created the four-door luxury coupe segment with the CLS, a large car with all the amenities but a sleeker, sportier roofline. Now, it appears that the German automaker is bringing the CL coupes back into the S-Class fold, introducing the new two door Concept S-Class Coupe based on the S platform. It shares the same 449 HP twin turbo V8 as the recently introduced S-Class sedan as well as the S-Class’ well received interior, but in a body shape that has softer, more elongated lines than the sedan along with wraparound taillights and dramatic front end styling similar to that seen on the Concept Style Coupe show car. That nose, though, will likely not make it to production.
Daimler is dead set against using the new refrigerant HFO-1234yf, even if it is forced down it throat. The EU makes it a must in all news cars, but Daimler says it can fry and kill you. Now, Daimler can get burned big-time. Without HFO-1234yf, its new S-Class will be illegal, but “using HFO-1234yf is out of the question,” a Daimler spokesman told Automobilwoche [sub]. (Read More…)
For 14 years I have owned a 1998 Ford Windstar Northwoods Edition with the indomitable 3.8 Liter engine. I love this van! It’s been so reliable. $38,000 and 4 transmissions later, and old rusty is still trucking. Only had to do 4 head gaskets. (Read More…)
If Automotive News’ [sub] dealer sources have heard right, then Daimler might sacrifice their S-Class on the altar of the almighty EPA and its newly announced CAFE standards. (Read More…)
Mercedes-Benz continues its long march forward in China. In February, “Benz” (as the locals call the brand here) racked in a 160 percent growth. 7,200 additional Benzes graced China’s roads by end of February.
With more than 15,300 units sold in the first two months of the year, up 155 percent, Mercedes-Benz calls itself the fastest-growing luxury brand in China, Gasgoo reports.
Imports of the S-Class grew by 115 percent in February, cementing China as the world’s biggest S-Class market. The new generation S-Class is extremely popular amongst China’s well-to-do. (Read More…)