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Did Lexus Just Create the Perfect Overlanding Rig?

July 19, 2019 Cars By

When it comes to overlanding rigs, there are plenty of carmakers you expect to see affiliated with the idea: Jeep, Toyota, Land Rover, maybe the occasional G-Wagen. One automaker you wouldn’t expect, most likely: Lexus. Typically, the luxury brand has been more associated with elegance and comfort; in recent years, it’s also added on performance and adventurous styling to its list of traits. But in spite of an SUV-heavy lineup, it’s never been identified as an off-road brand.

Yet here comes Toyota’s luxury division, charging out of the blue with what could well be the greatest automaker-made overlanding rig we’ve ever seen: The Lexus GXOR Concept.

It’s certainly built on good bones. As we’ve previously discussed, the GX 460 is basically a rebadged and gussied-up land Cruiser Prado, a smaller version of the off-road legend not sold in American Toyota dealerships. In stock form, it packs a tried-and-trie naturally-aspirated V8, a six-speed automatic, and a full-time four-wheel-drive system with low range. The GXOR Concept leaves those capable bits alone; instead, it builds on the inherent off-road prowess with a long list of accessories and other upgraded parts.

The F Sport wheels are wrapped in General Tire X3 Grabber off-road rubber in size 275/70/18, to provide better grip off the beaten path. CBI frame sliders and underbody armor provide protection against any attack from below, while an Icon Suspension 2.5 CDC with remote reservoirs and billet control arms helps keep it from smacking against obstacles in the first place. A Safari snorkel allows it to plunge into deep water with ease. If things get too hairy, the GXOR can always be pulled out of a sticky situation using the Warn 9.5 XP-S winch] built into the CBI custom stealth bumper.

Of course, an overlander needs to be able to stay in the wild for a while once it gets there. To make off-grid life easier, the GXOR has an Eezi-Awn K9 roof rack that’s been outfitted with an Overland Solar panel capable of providing 160 watts of juice, Alu-Box storage containers, a Rigid 50-inch LED light bar and MaxTrax recovery boards for added traction in a pinch. A Goose Gear custom drawer system and National Luna refrigerator in the back ease the burden of being away from civilization, while the Patriot Campers X1H off-road camping trailer behind that gives you a place to sleep that’s well away from any curious snakes. Finally, a ham radio makes contacting the Army easier in the event you stumble across an alien invasion deep in the woods.

Tragically, the press release makes no mention of this vehicle going on sale; in fact, the carmaker says it was inspired by customers’ own GX-based overlanding rigs. Still, we’re going to ask Lexus if we can borrow this baby for a couple days. Never hurts to try, right?

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Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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