By Yokota Fritz
Toyota introduced the Lexus LS 600H hybrid in Japan today and plans to begin selling it in the United States in a couple of months. This *ahem* "green" car features a five liter V8 that's "as powerful as [its] V-12 rivals while providing V-8 fuel economy" of 20 mpg/city and 27 mpg/highway.
To its credit, this automobile is a Super Low Emissions vehicle, producing 20% of the emissions of a convential 5 liter V8. It also has the first LED front headlights (!) of any production vehicle.
When designing the safety features of this Lexus, Toyota engineers even thought about those who are outside the cage by programming pedestrians into the anti-collision system. The system has cameras that detect objects in the cars path. Another camera in the steering wheel determines if the driver is watching where he's going. The system alerts the driver; if the driver doesn't respond the system will even apply the brakes on its own. It might be fun to swerve in front of one of these on a bicycle just to see what happens.
I love this quote from the Edmunds review: "As an automotive isolation chamber, the LS 600h is among the world's best."