Looks like: An LX 570 that’s ready to rumble through the wilderness
Defining characteristics: Suspension lift; giant roof rack; full-size spare tire and water cans on the back; 17-inch Evo Corse DakarZero wheels; 33-inch General Grabber X3 off-road tires
Ridiculous features: Everything on the J201 Concept serves a practical purpose, but seeing them all on a brand-new LX 570 is somewhat ridiculous.
Chance of being mass-produced: Zero, though you’re welcome to buy an LX 570 and pay Expedition Overland to build another (though Lexus says in the fine print that all these non-Genuine Lexus parts will likely void your warranty).
The Rebelle Rally bills itself as “the first women’s off-road navigation rally raid in the U.S.,” and the latest iteration of the 1,200-plus-mile 10-day event kicks off Thursday. For the occasion, Lexus set up 2019 Rebelle Rally winners Rachelle Croft and Taylor Pawley of the X Elles with a vehicle that puts most LX 570s to shame. Behold, the J201 Concept: a lifted, 550-horsepower, LX 570-based overlanding monster.
While the LX 570 has traditionally been the luxurious version of the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser and seldom leaves the pavement, the ability to do so was always there, kind of like a Japanese Range Rover. In partnership with adventure brand Expedition Overland, Lexus took that ability and enhanced it.
The J201 is lifted more than 4 inches front and rear depending on the drive setting, and it ditches the tasteful 20-plus-inch alloy wheels for off-road-designed 17-inch Evo Corse DakarZero wheels wrapped in knobby 33-inch General Grabber X3 tires.
For more help while driving through the wilds, the CBI Offroad Fab front bumper has a Warn winch and a Rigid Industries light bar, and there’s another Rigid light bar above the front windshield. A substantial roof rack provides ample exterior storage and is accessible via a rear-mounted ladder. Also in back as part of the CBI rear bumper are swing-out carriers for spare water and a full-size spare tire.
CBI also provided the front and underbody skid plating, as well as rock sliders with integrated steps. To keep the J201’s engine breathing, there’s a TJM Airtec snorkel.
The LX 570 already had a very comfortable interior, so interior upgrades are focused on off-road enhancements, additional storage and organization. There’s an ARB Linx controller to allow for operation of the accessory lighting, integrated air compressor and air-locking differentials as well as display additional pertinent information such as battery readings and vehicle angle information. In the cargo area, drawer-base storage from Goose Gear holds valuable equipment like recovery straps.
Engine and Transmission
To help power the J201, Lexus upgraded the 5.7-liter V-8 with a Magnuson supercharger, giving it 550 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet of torque — 167 more hp and 147 more pounds-feet than the stock LX.
Upgrades to the suspension include Icon Vehicle Dynamics front upper and rear lower control arms, as well as an adjustable lift that ranges from 2 inches in the front and 1 in the rear to 4.8 inches in front and 4 in the rear based on settings. ARB air-locking differentials enhance off-road traction.
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Build Your Own?
One of the highlights of the J201 is this fine print from the press release: “Vehicle shown is a special project car, modified with non-Genuine Lexus parts and accessories. Modification with these non-Genuine parts or accessories will void the factory warranty, may negatively impact vehicle performance and safety, and may not be street legal.”
So, while you’re welcome to buy a new LX 570 and build your own replica of the J201 — or add your own personal spin on an overlanding Lexus — it might be wise to wait until after the warranty has expired.
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