Lexus has unveiled what is surely the ultimate hybrid, the LS600h. Perched at the top of the LS range, the hybrid has a long-wheelbase body, individual rear seats, and a 4.3-liter V-8 teamed with two electric motors, a dual-stage CVT, and all-wheel drive. Lexus claims the LS600h will provide the performance of a V-12 while feeding owners' smugness with its V-8 fuel economy. Prices likely will top $100,000. For a mere $2.50 (plus tip), New Yorkers and San Franciscans can join the gasoline-electric revolution by hailing a hybrid taxicab. Manhattan, the birthplace of gridlock, may be the ideal environment for hybrids; some 82,000 gallons of fuel could be saved each day if New York's 12,053 cabs (mostly gas-guzzling Ford Crown Victorias) were replaced with Ford Escape hybrids. So far, only nineteen Escape hybrids (plus a few Toyotas) have joined the ranks. Thirty ply the streets of San Francisco.
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