Lexus explores the outdoors with a pair of rugged-looking off-road-style vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
You can’t go wrong with a rose gold Lexus if you want to stand out at the off-road trailhead. Check out the new Lexus NX PHEV Offroad concept if that sounds like your idea of fun. The carmaker debuted this upscale version of its NX CUV at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2022, accompanying a hydrogen-powered ROV prototype that resembles a champagne side-by-side.
- Lexus has brought three unusual vehicles to the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, starting with a modified plug-in hybrid NX called the Offroad that’s decked out in smoked badges and a paint color called Iron Oxide.
- Up next is a fancy side-by-side called the ROV that uses a hydrogen combustion engine to offer zero tailpipe emissions and Lexus’s driving signature in buggy form.
- Finally, Lexus will display a 1/3-scale model of the airplane that the Lexus-Pathfinder team will use in the World Championship Air Race later this year.
Lexus refers to the hue on these concepts as “Iron Oxide,” a striking bronze that looks fantastic against a lush, green backdrop. The Lexus NX450h+ starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain with two electric motors, one on each axle, providing an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. The NX was then given a smoked Lexus emblem and a matte black painted grille up front, smoked door mirror visors and matte black door handles on the side, and a smoked badge and Lexus logo on the back. The idea is equipped with 265/65R17 all-terrain tyres, as well as matte black roof rails and a carrier basket.
The ROV concept—ROV stands for “recreational off-highway vehicle” in this case—isn’t based on a current Lexus model, but it does appear to be a lot more fun than the off-roading NX. Don’t be fooled by the pipe frame and odd body form. The ROV, according to Lexus, nonetheless manages to include the “Lexus Driving Signature.”
Because it does not employ a fuel cell like the Mirai, the ROV’s engine is intriguing for a Toyota hydrogen vehicle. The ROV, on the other hand, is powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that runs on compressed hydrogen gas, making it the first Lexus vehicle to do so. This H2 powertrain, according to Lexus, provides “vibrations unique to engine powered vehicles for an exhilarating driving experience,” as well as the kind of high-response torque you want on the trail. So, if you’re looking for zero-emission outdoor enjoyment and have driven a battery-powered side-by-side and wish it vibrated more, Lexus has you covered. The idea buggy also has two- or four-wheel drive and seating for two people.
While a PHEV powertrain doesn’t offer zero tailpipe emissions all the time, Lexus says both of these concepts are meant to show how Lexus is working towards a carbon-neutral society. The aim, Lexus said in a release, “is to balance the refined lifestyle and driving pleasure that cars provide our customers, while living in harmony with nature.”
There’s one other unusual vehicle on display at the Lexus stand in Tokyo: a one-third-scale model of the Zivko Edge 540 V3 aircraft that pilot Yoshihide Muroya will use in the World Championship Air Race later this year as part of the Lexus/Pathfinder Air Racing team. Lexus said it is participating in this decidedly off-road adventure in order to “utilize [the] aerodynamic, cooling, and weight-reduction technologies and knowhow gained through grueling air races to create ever-better cars for the realization of a carbon-neutral society.” That makes sense, right?