Lexus RX will receive a plug-in hybrid versionOctober 7, 2020
The Japanese premium brand’s most popular crossover is set to receive an updated version with a plug-in hybrid powertrain borrowed from the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
For a company so committed to electrification, it seems odd that Lexus still doesn’t have a single plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle in its lineup. There is an electric UX in Europe, but it is not intended for the American market. This is about to change, however, as Lexus recently filed an application with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for the RX450h + name.
The documentation indicates the plug-in hybrid variant of the 2021 Lexus RX Hybrid. Lexus applied on October 6, 2020, so the RX450h + is probably pretty far from production. The company also filed for the NX450h + name earlier this year, hinting that its compact SUV will also receive a PHEV variant.
Both the NX and RX PHEV models are expected to borrow the powertrain from the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors driving all four wheels. In the Toyota RAV4 Prime, this powerplant produces 302 horsepower, while providing an electric range of 63 kilometers. Lexus may increase power slightly, but we can hardly expect significant gains for any of the above models.
The Lexus NX has long been in need of replacement, and even with a recent facelift, the RX is aging too. We assume that 450h + models won’t arrive until the next generation, at which time Toyota should be able to ramp up PHEV production. The RAV4 Prime is currently in short supply, making it difficult for owners to purchase Toyota’s most powerful PHEV model without paying a dealer margin.
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