When was the final time you drove over 600 miles with out making a gas cease? Was it by no means? Yeah, I assumed so.
I do know my automotive does 300-350 miles on a single tank, however driving a automobile that may do greater than double that also boggles the thoughts. But, that’s the place the enjoyment of driving a hybrid is available in.
The phrase hybrid nonetheless has some stigma connected to it, with many individuals’s go-to instance being the Toyota Prius.
Whereas the Prius’ influence on the hybrid market is to not be sniffed at – it’s the automotive that kick-started the shift – it’s not essentially the most fascinating automotive outdoors the world of Hollywood celebs determined to extend their rep with Greenpeace and Associates of the Earth.
It’s additionally not a lot of a looker, however hybrid life doesn’t must be like this.
Hybrid in disguise
Lexus RC 300h F Sport
Energy output: 178bhp
Prime velocity: 118mph
Zero-62mph: eight.6 seconds
Gasoline effectivity: 56.5mpg
Enter the Lexus RC 300h, which pairs a V6 engine with an electrical EV motor whereas additionally sporting some relatively dashing design.
A drained, run-of-the-mill automotive this isn’t, and from a look you wouldn’t understand it was a hybrid. It does say the phrase on the aspect skirts, however aside from that individuals on the road are ogling what they consider is a gas-guzzling, rain-forest destroying sports activities automotive as you drive by.
Sliding into the low-set, but cozy, driving seat there’s no query you’re getting right into a efficiency automotive, and the analogue clock (yep, they do nonetheless exist) tells you this can be a Lexus and never a automotive from an inferior model. Fashion is short-term, class is everlasting folks.
Push the Begin/Cease button and the petrol V6 engine involves life, and the digital dashboard and display screen on the middle console get up.
Shift the automated gearbox into drive (or reverse) and, for those who’re close to different vehicles, the parking sensors will begin chirping at you.
Actually, I discovered them to be a bit over enthusiastic, however fortunately there’s a button all the way down to the suitable of the steering wheel permitting you to show them off – which is definitely useful for those who’re in visitors and are a bit near the automotive in entrance.
Acceleration is easy, though not as instantaneous because it may very well be due to a bit little bit of lag between pedal and ahead momentum – it’s not sufficient to depart you excessive and dry at a junction, and after a whilst you get accustomed to its working.
To date, so good then – however EV motion was little to none throughout my first half hour or so behind the wheel.
Lexus RC 300h design gallery
Electrical energy within the metropolis
The electrical motor kicks in while you’re crawling alongside in visitors, stopped at visitors junctions and below braking, with the latter charging the battery that powers it. There’s no have to plug the RC 300h in to prime up the battery, because it’ll cost itself due to the wonders of kinetic vitality while you brake.
That implies that you received’t be burning any gas when EV mode is activated – denoted by a inexperienced automotive icon with the letters in it in your sprint – permitting you gasoline tank to final you longer.
Once we acquired into the RC 300h for the primary time and turned on the engine, it proudly displayed that we’ve got over 620 miles till we’d want to go to a forecourt – which was definitely music to our cash-strapped ears.
That stated, with the RC 300h beginning at £37,145 the automotive itself is out of my worth vary at present, however for those who can afford it you’ll be able to profit from the prolonged vary in addition to the ego-boosting reality that you just received’t be polluting the world as a lot.
Infotainment and shows gallery
If you choose ‘Automobile’ on the principle display screen within the heart console you’ll be able to even see what vitality you’re utilizing (and creating below braking) because the RC 300h switches between its petrol and electrical engines. It’s not overly detailed, however it’s a simple to grasp animation.
What’s additionally intelligent is the choice on a full EV mode, with a button to the left of the gear shift. This can solely work when the battery has sufficient cost (which you’ll see within the aforementioned Automobile display screen), and over quick distances at low speeds.
When you’re caught in a sluggish visitors jam, this is able to be a super time to show it on as it would save the automotive from burning any gas as you crawl alongside and sit idle. Get a bit too heavy on the throttle, nonetheless, and also you’ll be return to the traditional mode.
A ‘90s trackpad
A novel addition to the Lexus RC 300h – analogue clock apart – is what appears to be like like a ‘90s laptop computer trackpad beneath the gear shift. And that’s principally what it’s.
In contrast to different vehicles which supply touchscreens, the RC 300h continues to be caught a bit up to now on this specific space. I am going to admit I used to be a bit skeptical once I first laid eyes on it, however the trackpad works surprisingly effectively.
It’s additionally one massive button, which makes deciding on choices on-screen all of the easier – though I’d have nonetheless most popular a touchscreen.
The massive factor with the Lexus RC 300h for me although is the lengthen vary due to the hybrid engine. I drove over 200 miles throughout my time with it and when it got here to handing it again there was nonetheless a number of hundred miles left in it.
Hybrids are game-changing, and the Lexus RC 300h manages to avoid wasting the world whereas trying implausible. Extra of this please.
- John McCann is getting behind the wheel to present you another take a look at the wealth of vehicles – and the tech inside them – accessible at the moment. From superfast sports activities vehicles to tech-packed hatchbacks, he’ll take you thru a spread of makes, fashions, energy and worth tags in his common TR Drives column.