Trademark filings show RX450h+ joins NX450h+
Plug-in RX could use RAV4 Prime driveline
Found thanks to some deep-diving through European trademark documents, it looks like Lexus is planning a new plug-in version of one of its most popular models.
The application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office was dug up by Autoblog and shows that Lexus wants to protect the RX450h+ nameplate. The trademark, the document says, was granted earlier this month. While trademarking of names is common for various reasons, this one says it’s for “automobiles and structural parts thereof,” implying that it’s going to be a nameplate for a vehicle the company plans to sell.
It’s the +, here, that’s important, because there is already an RX450h. That’s the hybrid version of the Lexus RX crossover that is by far the automaker’s best seller. So what does the + mean?
We believe it means that the model will be a plug-in hybrid, adding a larger battery and possible larger electric motors to the luxury crossover. That would mean EV-only range, though it’s certainly too far to guess how much.
This isn’t the first + Lexus has trademarked in Europe, coming just a few months after the NX450h+. That they use the same numbers suggests they’ll use the same drivelines, and (and we’re getting well into the speculation here) that could possibly be the 300+ hp 2.5L four and electric motor setup that sits beneath the Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV.
No official announcements have been made, and a trademark doesn’t always make the transition to production, but a plug-in RX crossover seems like it would be a big hit for Lexus