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By Mark Kleis

File this one under “unconfirmed, by very possible.” Lexus already offers a hybrid variant of the Toyota Camry sedan that the Lexus ES350 is based on, and with Ford’s recent addition of the MKZ Hybrid, it would only make sense for Lexus to follow suit.

What we do know now is that Lexus has filed for a U.S. trademark on the nameplate, “ES300h,” thanks to the sleuthing work of Car & Driver. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to break down the Lexus nomenclature and realize that the “h” at the end of the name denotes a hybrid powertrain under the hood.

Given that the lesser Toyota Camry already offers a wider range of more advanced engines than the Lexus ES counterpart, it would make perfect sense for Lexus to add a hybrid version as well to the ES line. When you consider the aforementioned MKZ Hybrid – a direct competitor to the ES350 – it only reinforces the logic behind the move.

Adding even more credence to the theory, C&D points out that Lexus has previously committed to offering a hybrid version of every model it sells in Europe, meaning an ES300h is likely in the works for the European market anyway – why not bring it stateside?

Given that everything is based on speculation at this point, it is too soon to tell if and when this model may come to market – but it is worth mentioning that the ES350 is going to be up for a total re-freshening in a few year’s time. As such, there is a strong chance a hybrid variant’s arrival will coincide with the redesign, but given the mid-cycle addition of a hybrid powertrain to the MKZ counterpart, anything is possible.



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Lexus 'ES 300h' trademark filing suggests lux'd up Camry Hybrid on the way?

by Steven J. Ewing (RSS feed) on Dec 20th 2010 at 5:29PM


The Toyota Camry-based Lexus ES isn't exactly the most exciting product in the automaker's range. The entry-level luxury front-driver just received a slight refresh for the 2010 model year, but based on a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office discovered by Car and Driver, an electrified ES hybrid may be in the cards for the sedan's next generation.

Like the rest of Lexus' hybrids, the numerical part of the 'ES 300h' nomenclature doesn't really hold any sort of significance in terms of engine displacement. We'd hardly be surprised to find the Camry Hybrid's 2.4-liter mill under the Lexus' hood, though we won't rule out the possibility that output numbers could be tweaked for use in the ES 300h.

The move to hybrid-ify the ES sedan makes sense, as Lexus has long said that it wants to broaden its gasoline-electric offerings. The automaker currently has the CT 200h, HS 250h, GS 450h, RX 450h and LS 600h L, but adding a sixth hybrid car would further strengthen the brand's appeal to eco-minded luxury customers. Thanks to everyone for the tips!



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Old people will like that, because those gas savings can be used to buy more Ensure. This car is about as exciting as wallpaper paste though.

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If toyota wants Lexus to get it's sagging waistline image in shape, it need to drop the camry rebadge immediately.

Of course, toyoyo has no earthly idea what it's doing...

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I think Toyota every day gets more and more like GM of the 1980-2008 era. Just like GM got too big for their own good, and fell into the rebadge trap over and over, Toyota is sort of on the same path. Most of the Lexus lineup is rather stale and dated, and quality and that "lasts forever with no maintenance" image is slipping fast.

I can see Hyundai in the 2020s with a luxury brand that outsells Lexus. Much like Cadillac was king for 45 years, until Lexus arrived and 10 years later was #1. If Lexus, Acura, and the others don't stay on top of their game, Hyundai is going to come for them.

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