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Toyota is going Extreme! New performance-focused XSE nameplate for RAV4 Hybrid, Kluger, Corolla has just been trademarked in Australia

Toyota prepares for new hybrid options.

Toyota appears to be preparing to launch a new range of sportier vehicle options in Australia, with a trademark for a new "XSE" trim appearing on the Australian Government's trademark registry. 

Filed on May 20, the XSE (which stands for Extreme Sport Edition in the USA) trademark listing refers to "automobiles and structural parts thereof", but as is often the case with these filings, it's light on for further details. Happily, though, a glance overseas sheds a lot more light on the situation, with the XSE badge applied to sportier versions of the brand's most popular hybrid models, including the RAV4, the Corolla and the Camry.

According to Toyota: "In the Toyota world, the XSE badge signals a drive on the sporty side with specially tuned handling suspension, unique exterior styling, and exclusive interior trim."

On the soon to launch Kluger (called a Highlander in the USA), for example, the XSE trim is available with the 3.5-litre V6 engine, which will pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the option of torque-vectoring AWD. The sporty stuff is fitted under the skin, with higher-rate springs, a new rear stabiliser bar and re-tuned shocks. You also get sportier steering, too, all of which is designed to "boost handling agility".

The new Kluger XSE looks the part, too, thanks to machine-faced 20-inch wheels, as well as a bespoke front fascia, grille, and lower spoiler. There's also enlarged air intakes, new spoilers and unique headlights and DRLs, while at the rear, you'll find twin exhaust tips.

"Aggression" was the name of the design game here, and it continues inside, with black SofTex seats and carbon-fibre accents on the dash, as well as the prerequisite red trim highlights.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE looks the business The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE looks the business

The RAV4 Hybrid XSE in the USA gets a similar treatment, with sportier driving dynamics thanks to a stiffer and more aggressive suspension and steering tune, and big 18-inch alloys that fill more swollen wheel arches.

How, and where, the XSE badge will be used in Australia remains to be seen, but given the fully stacked nature of Toyota's existing model lines, we think the badge would be more likely to appear as a special edition rather than a permanent member of the family. Though it must also be pointed out that a trademark application is also not a guarantee the brand will act in this country.

Our fingers are crossed, though...