The entry-level Lexus needed a bit more power.
The 2023 Lexus UX Hybrid was recently given a much-needed refresh, one that eliminated the gasoline-only variant. Lexus now only offers the UX 250h, though that may soon change according to a new filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), uncovered by CarBuzz. Toyota, the parent company to Lexus, filed to protect the name "UX 300h" on October 7, 2022.
The Japanese automaker also trademarked the name in Europe, but this latest news could hint that a new UX model is slated to arrive stateside. The trademark is designated for "automobiles and structural parts thereof." It's unclear exactly what upgrades the UX 300h might offer over the existing UX 250h, but the latest Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid could provide some insight.
The current UX 250h pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce 181 total system horsepower. By comparison, the Corolla Cross Hybrid benefits from Toyota's fifth-generation hybrid system with a gutsier electric motor, granting it a total of 194 hp. With the additional power, the Corolla Cross can hit 60 mph in around eight seconds, a half-second quicker than the all-wheel-drive UX. It's also worth noting the Toyota comes standard with AWD, while the Lexus is still available with front-wheel-drive.
There's little reason why the new drivetrain from the Corolla Cross wouldn't fit in the UX, but it's equally possible that an all-new model is on the way. The UX is now in its fifth model year on sale, so Lexus could be working on a replacement. Recent rumors have also hinted that Lexus could bring back its CT hatchback, which would likely share a powertrain with the UX. If the CT does return, we imagine the UX would grow in size to avoid having the two models cannibalize each other.
As with all trademarks, there's still a distinct possibility that Lexus won't do anything with this name and the company only filed to make sure it protects the name from competitors. Lexus offers an electric version called the UX 300e in other markets, but this model will not be brought to the US.