2007 Lexus LS600h and 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Taxi

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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