Lexus ES 300h on the way?Enlarge Photo
It looks like the 2011 Lexus CT 200h isn’t the only new hybrid vehicle Lexus has in the pipeline. New filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have revealed that a hybrid version of the Lexus ES sedan is likely to be in the works, though apart from its new name we don’t have many other details.
A filing made by Toyota for “ES 300h” follows Lexus’ nomenclature for its hybrid models and suggests that the car will feature the same gasoline-electric hybrid system found in the Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The move is a logical one, considering the Camry has been offering a hybrid option since 2006 and the Lexus ES is essentially a reskinned version of Toyota's high-volume midsize sedan and company breadwinner.
This means that you can expect the new Lexus ES 300h to feature some variation of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system found in the Toyota Camry Hybrid: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a pair of compact electric motor-generators. The car can operate on electric only (at low speeds), on both gas and electric, and on gasoline only.
Peak output is rated at 187 horsepower (147 from the gas engine and 40 horsepower from the electric motor) and EPA fuel economy ratings come in at 33 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
There’s no word on when the new ES 300h hybrid will be launched, but the regular ES range went through its mid-cycle update more than a year ago, so Lexus may be planning to wait until a new-generation model arrives sometime in late 2012 or 2013.
When it does arrive, it will bring the hybrid tally at Lexus up to six vehicles.
[USPTO via Car and Driver]