Lexus LX700h Coming As Range-Topping Hybrid For Luxury Off-Road SUV

Off-Road / 8 Comments

The 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 will soon get electric assistance.

The Toyota Motor Corporation has filed a trademark application for the name "LX700h" with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. The trademark was discovered by the 4thGenTacoma forum, while CarBuzz discovered the same filing with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, USPTO, and Mexican intellectual property office. This indicates that a hybrid Lexus LX must be in the cards with a global rollout planned. We agree with its assessment, as the "h" at the end of the nomenclature has been part of Lexus' hybrid range since the introduction of the Lexus CT200h more than a decade ago.

The figure Lexus chose is a bit of a mystery, though. The highest figure ever used was 600 on the previous-generation LS 600h, equipped with a 5.0-liter V8, two electric motors, and nickel-metal hydride battery packs. Despite the name, the power output was only 438 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque.

This might point to a more powerful hybrid derivative or even the plug-in hybrid option we've been waiting for.

CarBuzz/Ian Wright
CarBuzz/Ian Wright

Currently, Lexus uses the 500h designation for its most powerful hybrid, built around the new 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine with a combined power output of 354 hp. That's the case with the LS luxury sedan, but a leviathan like the LX needs something more substantial. That's why it's currently only available with a 3.4-liter V6 twin-turbo with 409 hp and 479 lb-ft on tap. It easily beats the old V8's outputs of 383 hp and 403 lb-ft. With this engine under the hood, the LX uses the "600" designation.

A hybrid version of this engine is already available in the Toyota Tundra. Toyota calls the electrified powertrain i-Force Max, which has an old-school (in hybrid terms at least) self-charging integrated electric motor. The electric motor is located in a bell housing between the engine and gearbox, and it takes the combined power output up to 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque.

That's a decent improvement, and Lexus can easily add another 100 to the name, slap on an "h," and call it a day.

CarBuzz/Ian Wright

Earlier reports lead us to believe it may not be as simple. When news about a potential LX hybrid first leaked, the LX 750h moniker was used. According to online rumors, the twin-turbocharged V6 hybridized engine can produce up to 480 hp and 642 lb-ft of torque, setting the LX apart from lesser models in the wider Toyota/Lexus range.

Lexus might even use this opportunity to fix the biggest problem related to its high-end hybrid offerings. Simply put, there's no real reason to go hybrid. We can demonstrate this by using the LS 500, and LS 500h combined fuel consumption figures provided by the EPA. The twin-turbo non-hybrid model consumes 22 mpg on the combined cycle, while the hybrid manages 25 mpg.

According to the EPA, you only save $350 per year running a hybrid, and the average LS owner spends more than that on cigars in a week.

CarBuzz/Ian Wright

We know Toyota's TNGA-F platform is highly adaptable and underpins a series of current and upcoming models. It was designed with electrification in mind and might even be used to introduce a hydrogen-combustion V8 engine.

Toyota is known for its conservative EV strategy, and it believes that hybrids and plug-in hybrids will do more good in the long run than EVs. With this in mind, Lexus might take it a step further and introduce a plug-in LX, which would be fantastic considering the job it was created for. And no, we're not talking about off-roading.

We all know an LX is a status symbol, mainly used for mundane suburban activities. With a larger battery pack and more electric motors, Lexus could easily get an all-electric driving range of up to 50 miles. If Land Rover, which hasn't been in the plug-in game for that long, can get a Range Rover Sport to do 48 miles without using gas, Lexus should be able to do the same.

CarBuzz/Ian Wright

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