Lexus appears poised to introduce a hybrid version of its ES luxury sedan, based on documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The fact that luxury brands insist on using alphanumeric badges for their cars makes deciphering a new name child’s play.
The proposed name for the new model is the ES300h, which not only tells us it’s a hybrid, but also indicates that Lexus will abandon it’s current hybrid strategy for the ES sedan. In the past, hybrid versions were always more powerful versions, intended to deliver the oomph of a larger engine but with a reduced carbon footprint.
With the current ES using a 3.5-liter V5, it’s likely the ES300h will get a 4-cylinder engine – perhaps even the same setup as in the Camry Hybrid with 187-hp.
This could mean Lexus will then follow the Lincoln plan to offer its MKZ Hybrid at the same price as its standard model, and it’s also an admission that the HS250h has been less than successful. With buyers slowly adapting to hybrids they still don’t appear to be ready to settle for a smaller car and with the Camry Hybrid one of the best selling green cars on the road, it wouldn’t be difficult for Toyota to move a good portion of those customers up-market to Lexus.
[Source: Car & Driver]