The whole process is so fluid and masterful that it requires a hybrid indicator display with animation to tell you what’s going on. Even then, there’s still no way to fully appreciate the sorcery that is going on under the hood. It all happens in unison. In a blink of an eye, power is being harvested, stored, and replenished during a high-speed ballet between hardware and software. Imagine driving your smartphone and you’ll get pretty close to the feeling brought on by sitting behind the wheel of the RX 450h.Even the all-wheel drive system is completely electric. I was half expecting a ringtone when I hit the horn. Because if there’s an area where they could save gas, weight, or emissions, they found an app for that. I know I keep using the music analogy because of how everything works in symphony; but if this car were a movie, it would be titled Fifty Shades of Green.
In a perfect world, we would all be driving hydrogen cars—then again, in a perfect world, Mother Teresa would have more Instagram followers than the Kardashians, but we all know how that turned out. While we’re on our way, hybrid technology is the most reliable and affordable road towards that goal. I’m talking about the hydrogen, of course, not the Instagram followers. Even when we perfect hydrogen and get it to an affordable level, hybrid technology will still play a role, and nobody has been able to play that part better than Toyota and Lexus.
There’s still some room for improvement—I’d like to see lithium batteries instead of Nickel-Metal Hydride in the next model—but with global warming becoming more and more tangible than many thought it would in our lifetime, this is the way of the future. With the RX 450h, that future is now.