A Toyota Grand Highlander SUV for the U.S. could be in the making, possibly with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Toyota Motor applied to register a Grand Highlander trademark at the USPTO on December 28, 2020. It is usual practice for OEMs to protect names and suffixes even if there is no intent to use it as a vehicle nameplate.
TopElectricSUV.com has accessed the Toyota Grand Highlander trademark application (app. no. 90420634) and understands that it is meant for the obvious category. The trademark application mentions ’12’ as the international class, which is for automobiles and structural parts thereof. The intent to commercialize the trademark has also been stated. Interestingly, there’s a note of Toyota owning the existing ‘Highlander’ trademark (reg. no. 2249838) to avoid the proposed trademark being viewed as a duplicate by the authorities.
The Toyota Highlander offers three rows of seats for up to eight passengers. So, it’s not as if the Toyota Grand Highlander needs to be a derivative that accommodates more passengers.
Regardless of whether China needs a Toyota Grand Highlander, the U.S. probably does. The old body-on-frame Toyota Sequoia is not an attractive option in 2021 for American customers seeking a modern SUV that’s bigger than the Toyota Highlander. That’s where the Toyota Grand Highlander could step in. The proposed size, load, and the times the Toyota Grand Highlander takes birth in demand electrification. Either as standard or as an option, it could be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
There’s no further information like the specifications, price or release date of the Toyota Grand Highlander, but we don’t expect the SUV before 2022. We’ll update this article as we learn more.