Toyota might be developing a new Lexus-branded three-row electric SUV. The Japanese carmaker filed four new trademark applications with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPA) on 19 July, 2023, for different versions of the Lexus TZ, as per the Lexus RX Owners forum.
The brand is hoping to trademark four names, including TZ450e and TZ550e. If you’re familiar with Toyota and Lexus nomenclature, you’d know that ‘Z’ connotes BEVs. Toyota has the bZ4X, while Lexus has the RZ 450e, the electric alternative to the RX.
The brand recently introduced the 2024 Lexus TX, a swanky gas-powered three-row SUV that shares its GA-K platform with the Toyota Grand Highlander and slots between the RX and the GX. The new TZ could be the TX’s pure electric counterpart.
If this turns out to be true, it will be clear that the brand is maintaining an alphanumerical naming consistency for its upcoming electrified models.
Gallery: 2023 Lexus RZ 450e
Details are limited to the trademark names, but we can expect the TZ to adhere to the RZ's design language. It might feature the aerodynamic spindle body and sport elements like the illuminated Lexus emblem and a full-width taillamp.
So far, Toyota and Lexus have used the e-TNGA platform for their electric SUVs, but the TZ could be based on a dedicated EV platform. The e-TNGA shares several components with the ICE-specific TNGA and hence is not as cost-effective as dedicated EV platforms.
The automaker has plans to manufacture a three-row Toyota electric SUV at its Georgetown Assembly Plant in Kentucky from 2025, and the TZ is likely to be its more premium Lexus iteration. Even though the trademark filings were done with EUIPA, it’s possible that the Lexus electric SUV would be offered in the US as well.
The SUVs could be powered by US-assembled batteries, as the automaker has ramped up investments in its under-construction battery manufacturing site in North Carolina. The company will reportedly infuse $5.9 billion to manufacture HEV and BEV batteries at the North Carolina site.
The brand is still lagging behind competitors when it comes to scaling up BEV production and generating appeal among buyers. Its H1 2023 US BEV sales increased but they weren’t spectacular by any measure. The group sold 20,710 plug-in vehicles (BEVs and hybrids) in the first six months of 2023, of which 3,415 were Lexus models and 17,295 were Toyota cars.