I take on a ridiculously ambitious low fuel run in the 2719kg Management Fleet Lexus LX 570.[Not a valid template]
It’s not often I feel pressure like this.
I have less than an hour to get from one side of Dubai to the other with a camera lens and a memory card urgently needed for a shoot by the crankandpiston.com digital crew. In our three-ton Management Fleet Lexus LX 570. Which is running out of fuel. And there’s no time to stop for more.
You join me then in an incredibly hot Lexus cabin. Up to 46-degree temperatures are slowly broiling me alive through the expansive windscreen. In an effort to eke out every last iota from the Lexus’ 138-litre fuel tank and thirsty 5.7-litre V8, the air conditioning, four-way climate control, seat coolers and every other power sapping piece of kit (including the chiller in the centre armrest) has been turned off. Thirty minutes in sometimes reasonable Dubai traffic have eroded most of my temper and a significant amount of my fuel consumption, the LX now averaging 17.4L/100km and harbouring only 35km of range before I grind to a halt.
My speed – though still quick enough to make sure I get to the team in time – has dropped well below the highway limit, and I’m now trying to keep as close as possible to vehicles in front to reduce drag and stretch my fuel a little further. 25km.
Petrol stations flash by almost mockingly, and for a moment I consider bailing on this frankly ridiculous endeavour to fill up. But so consumed am I with the digital readout – 17.2L – that I miss the final turning for the garage altogether. There’s no time to turn around, and the detour would only hurt my fuel consumption anyway. That’s it then. 15km. The office or bust.
Another five minutes on the highway pass by, my drafting attempts proving more difficult as the cars in front start speeding between the cameras. So I resort to plan B, moving into the inside lane, hitting pedestrian speeds, and hope that the loss of my slipstream wingmen won’t hurt the consumption too much. 17.3L. 10km.
Off the highway, I’m into Dubai Media City, which despite being a Saturday is still consumed with traffic. It’s enormously frustrating as the Lexus needle dips to 7km while I’m stationary, though the shadows from the buildings do at least give me some respite from the sun. Down the road, turn right, across two lanes of traffic, turn left at the roundabout, and one last turn to go….
I make it. Just. There’s only 5km left on the clock, but that should be just enough to get me to the nearest petrol station. I’m astonished. For a premium vehicle so large and so angled towards comfortable cruising, the big LX 570 has proven remarkably frugal when I’ve needed it to be.
Whilst I mull over the upcoming $55 damage to my wallet for refuelling, I receive a text from the digital guys, explaining that the shoot has been pushed back by one hour and that I needn’t rush after all.
This would be irritating were it not for the accidental insight into the Lexus this mini-adventure has given me. And besides, 46-degree temperatures and mild dehydration never hurt anydgfbfghfvfhdd…..
… perhaps I’d better go for a lie down.
|Engine:||V8 / 5663cc|
|Power:||383hp @ 5600rpm|
|Torque:||403lb ft @ 3200rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed automatic transmission|
|Front suspension:||Double wishbone / electro-hydraulic suspension / Active Height Control (AHC)|
|Rear suspension:||Multi-link with solid axle / electro-hydraulic suspension / Active Height Control (AHC)|