The Lexus UX is entering its fourth model year in 2023, having gone into production at the end of 2018 as a 2019 offering. The NX and RX have lately lasted seven years before a new generation drops, so the UX is due for a heavy refresh at the least. It's possible the refresh or the next-gen version will bring an upgraded model with more power. Lexus Enthusiast discovered that brand parent Toyota filed a trademark application for the term UX 300h in Europe, CarBuzz found the same application lodged at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and CarSales came across the form in triplicate filed with Australian intellectual property authorities.
As always, a trademark application doesn't mean the described product will make it to market. However, there's very good reason for Lexus to take the UX to the next level. The automaker pared the lineup to a single model for 2023, now called the UX Hybrid. The powertrain carries over from its previous guise as the UX 250h, a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder helped by two electric motors and a 1.4-kWh battery, making 181 system horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque. Despite general favor shown for the crossover's appointments and frugality, the repeated ding against it is feeble acceleration. The hybrid system in the NX 300h, based around a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, makes 203 hp and 184 lb-ft, the horsepower figure rising to 215 hp in the ES 300h and as much as 220 hp in the erstwhile IS 300h, so there's headroom if product planners are allowed to use it. Considering the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is slated to get 194 horsepower, the snazzier and luxury-branded UX would seem ripe for engine and power upgrades.
With the updated NX and all-new RX on the market now, and the Corolla Cross Hybrid coming for next year, we won't be surprised if Lexus doesn't wait for the second-gen UX to bolster the spec sheet.