Next Lexus NX to debut brand's first plug-in hybrid?

Lexus appears poised to introduce its first plug-in hybrid model in the near future as its parent company, Toyota, recently filed trademark applications for a NX 450h+ in Europe.

The luxury carmaker is currently pushing to expand its electrified vehicle offerings, with one of its more recent introductions being the UX 300e, its first battery electric vehicle. While hybrid (along with regular petrol and diesel) vehicles have been a staple in the company’s line-up for a long time, it has yet to offer one with plug-in capability.

That should change with the NX 450h+, which is a new variant of the company’s crossover that is positioned between the UX and RX. The variant is likely to debut with the next-generation NX, which is expected to arrive next year according to the company’s product roadmap that was leaked not too long ago. According to the leak, the all-new NX will ride on the Toyota New Global Architecture-K (TNGA-K) platform and be offered with five different powertrains, which likely includes a plug-in hybrid.

While detailed information remains scarce for now, the PHEV powertrain will likely be similar or identical to the one used for another TNGA-K-based SUV, the RAV4 Prime. On the Toyota SUV, the setup consists of a 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine, two electric motors, a lithium-ion battery and an e-CVT to deliver 302 hp.

Aside from the PHEV variant, a separate trademark filing reveals that a regular hybrid NX 350h will also be part of the range, along with NX 350 and NX 250 options – the last two were sighted in filings made in the United States.

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