Taking a left turn off of I-10 beyond Hand Springs, The golden state, we drove down a rutted, sand-blown track for a pair miles prior to winding up at a high, rough heap, an outcrop scaled someplace in between a massif and also a hillock. After changing the transmission right into neutral, involving the four-wheel-drive reduced variety, and also shutting the ARB Air Locking differentials, we got back at and also steady on the throttle and also aimed our vehicle– a seven-figure, one-off, overlanding idea called the Lexus J201– up the high, rough face up until all that revealed with the windscreen was dirt and also hot skies.
The vehicle managed the obstacle with significant aplomb, cresting the ridge without a huff, and also ultimately leveling off and also showing the splendors of what got on the opposite side: a meth laboratory. Qualified was this automobile that it was simple to neglect that the system that underpinned all of this durability was Lexus’ classy, front runner SUV, the $88,000 LX 570. This jacked and also tracked vehicle asks the concern: Has Lexus gone rogue?
” Going rogue is in fact component of that we are,” claims Vinay Shahani, the brand name’s vice head of state of advertising for America. “As well as we enjoy to experiment. J201 is a moving instance of our idea in Constantly On, the suggestion of regular enhancement regardless of the moment in a lorry’s lifecycle.”
The recommendation to time-in-lifecycle is type of an exaggeration for a lorry that has actually existed in its present kind, with only small cosmetic updates, given that 2008– 2 life times in the item period of a lot of vehicles. The J201 Principle does include considerable upgrades to the manufacturing automobile, which, based as it is on the caprine and also age-old Toyota Land Cruiser, is rarely a slouch in the off-road-capability division.
Along with the efficiency differentials pointed out over, the J201 take advantage of a myriad of extra attachments. These consist of sturdy devices such as a Symbol Lorry Characteristics suspension helpful for a couple of additional inches of flight elevation, and also much more when the suspension is placed in severe high setting; smaller sized 17- inch Evo Corse Dakar No wheels placed with 33- inch General Grabber X3 tires; a TJM Airtec snorkel for breathing undersea (something we did not reach experience in the dry Coachella Valley); and also StopTech pierced brake blades. It additionally consists of bolt-ons such as CBI skid plates, rock sliders, and also front and also back bumpers; a Warn winch; a Prinsu Style roofing shelf system; an onboard ARB double compressor; and also luminescence of Stiff Industries light bars.
Possibly most significantly, it consists of a Magnuson supercharger bolted to the basic 5.7-liter Toyota V8– the very same system that was readily available from Toyota Competing Growth (TRD) in the Expanse some years back. This strapped-on blower upgrades the criterion 383 horse power and also 403 pound-feet to a tearing 550 hp and also 550 lb-ft. After sampling the gripe, we can state that the enhancement of 167 equines does not specifically change the actions of the J201, in component due to the fact that all the sturdy attachments bolted to its front, back, rockers, and also roofing are relatively made of actors iron and also include roughly an additional 1,000 extra pounds, take or provide, to the base three-ton weight.
Still, the extra horses do give ample promote the vehicle to leave its very own method, as long as you’re not reserved with the gas pedal. That remains in component due to the fact that this vehicle maintains the LX’s tranquilizing eight-speed automated, which is set for recreation and also gas economic climate. (” Economic situation” naturally is family member, as the EPA prices the supply LX at 12 mpg city, 16 mpg freeway, and also 14 mpg incorporated. We’re definitely really did not crest the double-digit limit.)
Qualified as they could be passing through the desert sand pack, the J201’s beast tires do not include much to on-road improvement or calmness, long a Lexus characteristic. They additionally have a tendency to comply with also undetected highway blemishes, like a polar bear tracking the miles-away aroma of an icebound seal. It possibly really did not aid that we remained in the infamously windy Sonoran desert piloting something with the drag coefficient of an upright Steinway.
However this J201 does look rather extreme. Throughout a daylong drive with Joshua Tree National Forest, we identified a minimum of a hundred gears furnished for overlanding, and also while extremely few of them appeared to in fact be heading additional off-road than an Instagram-ready crushed rock pull-off, there had not been a solitary various other customized, late-model LX570 As well as there definitely had not been an additional one that had actually been rubbed by the manufacturing facility, utilizing components that would not invalidate the service warranty. The removal of the reduced fifty percent of the repulsive Lexus “pin grille” definitely aided in the look division, though the SUV’s filled with air range, tightened eyes, sea blue plastic cover, and also baleen top air consumption did provide the J201 a somewhat porcine/cetaceous existence. No surprise the Lexus people had actually nicknamed this construct Buta Kujira, which equates about to Whale Pig.
The actual concern regarding this construct is what Lexus suggests to articulate by developing a lorry such as this, besides provoking a 404: Web page Not Found mistake for practically every capacity or existing consumer. Mercedes-Benz and also Land Vagabond have trustworthy online reputations for developing extremely off-road-capable high-end lorries. As well as Lexus’ moms and dad business, Toyota, has actually amassed comparable condition in developing Hi-Luxes, Tacomas, and also Land Cruisers (the automobile on which the LX 570, and also J201, is based) that are sturdy sufficient for both the United Nations and also the extreme anarchical militaries the UN is commonly generated to confine. Lexus appears to jibe with the overlanding subculture regarding as well as split-pea-with-ham soup flavor does with coffee creamer.
Oddly sufficient, the brand name appears rather significant regarding creating some variation of a lorry such as this in the future. “I’m constantly a follower of crafting high-end lorries that thrill which attach to an enthusiastic target market,” claims Shahani. “With J201, we’re stressing this SUV’s fundamental identification. J201 ideally obtains the interest of individuals that really did not understand the LX has actually constantly been an excellent methods of glamorous journey, or exactly how it can be made that far more qualified with a couple of conscious improvements. J201 was created to check out methods to satisfy the demands of our most daring visitors. All I can state is, bend up. The future is brilliant for Lexus.”