Compared to those cars, the Lexus looks downright thrifty. Not only does it get better fuel economy - it even costs a lot less. The V12-powered BMW 760li gets 15 mpg and costs about $20,000 more. The Lexus gets 21 mpg.
And the LS's performance really is impressive. Step on the gas the combined engine and motor, together producing a maximum of about 600 horsepower, push you back in your seat with an easy whisper, barely straining as the needle on the electric boost gauge moves into "performance" territory.
Toyota doesn't expect to sell very many of these cars. Market experience shows that hybrid shoppers are mostly interested in one thing: burning as little fuel as possible. High-end luxury hybrid buyers represent a market that has not yet shown itself. One can make a case for a performance-oriented six-figure hybrid car, but for now the jury is still out.