Toyota has filed an application to trademark the Lexus “IS500” badge in North America, leading to speculation a hotter version of the sedan is in the works.

A member of gr86.org was seemingly the first to spot the application (covering “automobiles and structural parts thereof”), dated 25 June 2020 and filed with both the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Of course, Lexus already uses the “500” suffix on its LS sedan and LC coupé and convertible. Interestingly, though, while the LS500 employs the company’s turbocharged 3,5-litre V6 petrol engine (generating 310 kW and 600 N.m), the LC500 uses a 351 kW naturally aspirated 5,0-litre V8 unit shared with the RC F.

Which powertrain will the IS500 inherit, should it get the green light? Well, earlier in 2020, @allcarnews claimed while the newcomer was initially rumoured to use a blown V6, it would actually come with the free-breathing V8 (the “last application” of this engine in a Lexus, it added).

A heavily revised version of the IS sedan was revealed in June 2020, with the updated range scheduled to arrive in South Africa early in 2021. If the powertrain options carry over unchanged, the line-up would include a turbocharged 2,0-litre petrol engine (in the IS300), a naturally aspirated 2,5-litre hybrid arrangement (in the IS300h) and a similarly free-breathing 3,5-litre V6 (in the IS350).