Magazine article Management Today

Motor Mouth

Magazine article Management Today

Motor Mouth

Article excerpt

Lexus' long-wheelbase hybrid limo can park itself and give you a massage. But it's as green as an oilslick, says Sathnam Sanghera.

Probably looks easy, this part-time car-reviewing lark. Get a manufacturer to lend you a pounds 100,000 model with a free tank of fuel. Drive your mum to the shops and back. Knock out 450 words every four weeks. That ain't workin' - you get your money for nothin', your motorin' for free.

But things aren't always easy. There are occasions when you have to test-drive a model that is worth less than a house. Sometimes, the vehicle isn't delivered with a full tank of fuel. And there's the risk that you will test-drive a car, write the review, only to have another model delivered which immediately forces you to change your mind.

That's what happened this month. VW sent a long-wheelbase version of its Phaeton, and I loved it. It was powerful and luxurious, in a stylish and subtle way. The only thing I didn't enjoy was that I couldn't be in the car day and night. I wrote a glowing review, describing it as the best limo I'd driven, short of a Bentley or a Rolls-Royce, but then Lexus delivered the LS 600h L.

It's the first Lexus to be offered with a long wheelbase, 120mm longer than the standard model, and the first car of its size and stature to come in the form of a petrol-electric hybrid. Which is, of course, silly. It does 30.4 mpg on the combined cycle - which is good for its class but still about as environmentally friendly as a North Sea oil spill.

But as a straight executive car it excels. …

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