Is the Lexus LX600 really an off-road SUV? Well, if you’re Japan’s JAOS, most definitely. JAOS, a Japanese off-road parts supplier, showed its off-road racing version of the Lexus LX600 SUV at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon this week. The LX never looked this rough-and-tumble before, and we want one.
The JAOS LX600 competed in the Baja 1000 race
When you want to prove that you’re tough, you head to the Baja 1000 race. The 1,000-mile race across the desert of the Baja peninsula will break even the toughest of trucks and SUVs. The race, held Nov. 15 to 20, 2022 , featured 276 entries. The race is so grueling that only 135 entrants finished.
The Canguro Racing Team JAOS Lexus LX600 ran in the Stock Full Class, which is for vehicles that are minimally modified. While it’s mostly stock, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t go through a near complete tear down. In fact, the Jaos team stripped everything off the LX600 and took it down to the bare frame so they they could weld in a safety cage. That cage is required by the rules to protect the driver and the navigator if they crash.
Could you build this off-road LX600?
JAOS kept the LX600’s stock engine and transmission but added a lot. Shock absorber company KYB stepped in to sponsor with some special 14-way adjustable shocks. JAOS added over-fenders, light bars, and racing seats. It also beefed up the tires, to Toyo Open Country, and JAOS brand wheels. It also added coil-over shocks, lights, and a tube bumper. But overall, it didn’t add much to the luxury LX600.
The LX600 is a Land Cruiser, just not the U.S. version
The 2023 LX 600 stays on the GA-F platform, which means that it shares a lot of its chassis with the Toyota Sequoia and new Toyota Tundra. But, crucially, it also shares most key parts with the Toyota Land Cruiser that the rest of the world, but not the U.S., gets. That means that it gets a suspension that is specially designed for both on-road and substantial off-road capability.
Of course the Lexus has a giant flowing Lexus grille and low overhangs on the front that limit some of that off-road ability that JAOS removed. Regardless, it does have Toyota’s magic Crawl Control, which can get even this huge SUV un-buried from sand or mud
The LX 600 is Lexus’s biggest SUV. The list of features and options Lexus has for the LX 600 SUV can blow your mind. Consider that you can get this seven-seater in an ultra-luxury four-seat trim that turns the back into a spacious lounger bigger than some NYC studio apartments, with 43 inches of back seat foot room. There’s so much foot room that Lexus even adds a deployable footrest behind the passenger seat.
The JAOS version amps up the off-road ability
The Tokyo Auto Salon is one of the biggest auto shows in the world, and it makes sense that JAOS would want to be there. The company also makes a series of skid protectors for the LX as well as fender flares and other custom bits, according to OffRoadExtreme. Since these are Japanese custom parts, they’re not common on U.S. LX600s.