Lexus may be one of the manufacturers to first embrace electrification - it’s been selling a wide range of hybrids for well over a decade - in recent years other manufacturers have taken the lead on electrification from the Japanese manufacturer. Even though it still sells regular non-plug-in hybrids, it still offers no plug-in hybrids and just one fully electric vehicle.
But it seems that might change soon because it was recently reported that Lexus filed a trademark application in Europe for several new variants of its NX crossover. The first is the NX350h, yet the more interesting one is the NX450+.
It’s been suggested that the plus in its name indicates the fact that it’s planned to be a PHEV and there is a high chance it will be motivated by the same powertrain found in the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Power comes from a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with 176 bhp, but thanks to two electric motors, the system’s peak power output is 302 bhp, thus allowing the RAV4 PHEV to sprint to sixty in 5.8 seconds.
Pure-electric range is expected to be quite impressive in the RAV4 Hybrid, thanks to its large battery pack, expected to be around 16 kWh, which should allow it to be driven up to 39 miles on one charge.
The Lexus NX is roughly the same size and weight as the RAV4, so its range and performance would be very similar. The RAV4 Hybrid costs from $36,500, while the current NX300h model starts at £32,040 - the NX450h+ will probably cost closer to £40,000.
It’s also worth noting that Lexus filed the trademark application for the NX450h+ in Europe, not the US. In the States, the manufacturer applied for trademarks for the NX250 and NX350 nameplates.