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Some choices are easy.

Formula One over IndyCar. Craft beer, not Bud Light. Nirvana over the Foo Fighters. And when it comes to Lexus four-doors, it’s the LS 500 sedan, by a country mile, over the LS 500h hybrid.

My choice became clear after about 10 minutes in the LS 500 sedan, Lexus’s bid to reinvigorate a flagship four-door franchise that had gone old and stale. I’d already sampled Lexus’s hybrid powertrain twice, and spat out the dubious concoction both times: Once in Spain, in the otherwise-excellent LC Coupe, and again in New York in the LS sedan. These hybrid Lexii subsist on the 3.5-liter V-6 from a Toyota Camry, one that’s further neutered to save fuel by running on the Atkinson cycle. To that, Lexus adds dual electric motors; a continuously variable transmission and a conventional four-speed gearbox combine to create the illusion of 10 forward gears. But no amount of engineering magic or cabin soundproofing can completely obscure the Walmart roots of the Camry V-6, or the clunky, moaning operation of the hybrid system. Both are sadly out of place in a luxury sedan that starts around $80,000 and can soar to nearly $120,000.



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Twin Turbo V6 Transforms The Lexus LS 500 From Walmart Lot Cruiser To A Modern Marvel

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