10 Hybrid Luxury Cars
Luxury hybrid cars come in a variety of different configurations, as one of the blessings of operating near the top of the market is the ability to invest a few more development dollars and create a somewhat unique driving experience. Sure, there are several luxury hybrid cars available that cater to those seeking better fuel efficiency, but there are also a number of models that aim to deliver high performance in addition to saving a few dollars at the gas pump.
Let’s take a quick look at 10 luxury hybrid cars and see what sets them apart from their gas-only competitors.
Lexus LS 600h L
The 2013 Lexus LS 600h L is one of the more unique hybrid luxury cars on the market, as it attempts to provide ’12-cylinder power with eight-cylinder fuel mileage’ according to Lexus’ PR copy. It also represents the flagship full-size sedan for the premium brand, which means the extended-wheelbase automobile is loaded with high end equipment (including a fridge, a reclining rear seat, and an available massage system). V-12 power isn’t an overstatement, as the vehicle’s hybrid system produces a total of 438 horsepower from a 5.0-liter V-8 coupled with a pair of electric motors. All-wheel drive is standard, and fuel mileage is listed at 19-mpg in city driving and 23-mpg on the highway.
Mercedes-Benz E400 Sport Hybrid
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E400 Sport Hybrid offers mid-size luxury car buyers with a battery-assisted option that rides on the updated platform that has been gifted to all E-Class automobiles for the current model year. The Mercedes-Benz E400 Sport Hybrid is available exclusively in a sedan – no coupe, convertible, or wagon versions are in the cards – and it matches the company’s ubiquitous 3.5-liter V-6 with a single electric motor in order to produce 329 horses, which gives it a definite power advantage over the standard six-cylinder E-Class. Matching its boosted output is improved fuel economy, although not by much: 24-mpg in city driving and 30-mpg on the highway represents a climb of three miles per gallon around town and a dead-heat while cruising down the Interstate. The E400 Sport Hybrid additionally offers a half-mile of electric-only operation at speeds of 22 miles per hour or less.
Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is intended to maintain the sporty spirit that is built into most of the premium automaker’s products, while simultaneously enhancing fuel mileage by a considerable amount. 29-mpg in stop and go driving and 36-mpg on the highway pays more than mere lip service to the idea of increased efficiency (as compared to the standard Q50), and all-wheel drive is available as an option for those who have to regularly deal with a harsh winter climate. The spry Q50 delivers a total of 354 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V-6 that works together with an electric motor, and a seven-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox that is available with the sedan.
The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is somewhat of an outlier in the electrically-assisted world, a full-size SUV that at first seems too big and heavy to benefit from a battery pack. In reality, GM engineers have been able to increase the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid’s around town fuel efficiency by almost 25 percent, as it checks in at 20-mpg city (highway is rated at 23-mpg). This is made possible by the Escalade Hybrid’s pair of electric motors that are incorporated into its automatic transmission, which in combination with its 6.0-liter V-8 produce 389 horsepower. The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid can be had in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive editions.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a very-stylish mid-size sedan that crams a lot of technology into its year-old platform in an effort to lure premium shoppers away from more established brands. As is its custom, Lincoln has priced the MKZ Hybrid at the same entry-level point as the base gas-powered version of the car, which means there’s no financial penalty to pay for going green. The MKZ Hybrid’s drivetrain is impressive, posting 45-mpg in city driving and 45-mpg on the highway from an electric motor / 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine setup that has been tuned to send 188 horses to the front wheels via a continuously-variable automatic transmission.
Lexus CT 200h
The Lexus CT 200h isn’t just the most affordable hybrid in the Lexus lineup: it’s also the least-expensive Lexus, period. The Lexus CT 200h is a good-looking compact hatchback that actually manages to provide decent handling, which is not typically a strong point for hybrid cars at its price point. The vehicle lifts its drivetrain almost entirely from the Toyota Prius, which means 134 horsepower from a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder gas engine and not one, but two electric motors. Fuel mileage for the small and relatively lightweight hybrid is listed at 43-mpg on stop and go driving and 40-mpg on the highway.
BMW Active Hybrid 5
The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is another speed-first hybrid luxury car that can offer fuel savings if absolutely required. What that means is that gingerly driving the BMW Active Hybrid 5 in economy mode will result in efficiency figures of 23-mpg in the city and 30-mpg on the highway, but mid-size sedan is really intended to serve as a more powerful alternative to the BMW 535i. To this end, it produces 335 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque by way of a turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine and a single electric motor. The Active Hybrid 5 is able to deliver substantial torque off of the line thanks to the design of its hybrid drivetrain, making it much quicker than one would expect from an electrically-assisted car.
The Infiniti M35h is in many ways the spiritual sibling to its German competitor, the Active Hybrid 5. It, too, is a mid-size sedan that sports an electric motor alongside its robust six-cylinder mill (in this case a 3.5-liter V-6), and it has been tuned more for performance than for efficiency. 360 horsepower are on tap from the Infiniti M35h’s hybrid setup, which translates into rapid, if somewhat abrupt acceleration at all speeds. Infiniti has also gifted the M35h with access to features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and even a lane departure system that can automatically keep the car between the white lines.
Acura ILX Hybrid
The Acura ILX Hybrid is the very first battery-assisted automobile for the premium brand, and like the Lexus CT 200h it’s also an inexpensive entry point for compact car shoppers interested in a luxury hybrid experience. Quiet and composed on the inside, things stay even more silent with the Acura ILX Hybrid’s electric motor engaged. A 1.5-liter, four-cylinder cylinder gas motor is also along for the ride – technology imported from the popular Honda Civic Hybrid – and total horsepower is listed at 111. Fuel mileage for the Acura ILX Hybrid shows as 39-mpg city and 38-mpg highway, a figure that’s lower than the car’s Civic cousin due to a focus on performance over ultimate efficiency inside the guts of its continuously-automatic transmission.
Lexus ES 300h
The Lexus ES 300h is perhaps the quintessential Lexus hybrid luxury car, a mid-size sedan available at a reasonable price and with a roomy, high-class interior that makes it a prize amongst hardcore commuters. The Lexus ES 300h rides on a heavily-insulated chassis that keeps the outside world at bay, while its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine works together with a single electric motor to generate 200 horsepower. Fuel efficiency figures for the ES 300h shows as an excellent 40-mpg around town and 39-mpg on the highway, and from a red light the Lexus can keep up the pace with many of its premium hybrid competitors.
By Undisclosed Author