In case anybody has forgotten, Lexus makes big SUVs too! Of course, as a Lexus, it has a luxury feel to it. But, Lexus does not want people to think that the LX 570 flagship is just a pavement queen. To prove it, the automaker just launched the J201 concept based on the aforementioned SUV. While LX 570 may be made more for glamping when it goes off-road, the J201 shows that the platform has serious overlanding chops as well. So, a little dirt and glam really can go together.
Lexus and Expedition Overland
Lexus teamed up with, Expedition Overland, a company that specializes in getting vehicles ready for overlanding duties. Their intent was to make an already capable machine a little more capable for adventurous explorers. To that end, they prepared the Lexus J201 Concept for off-roading and an off-road competition called the Rebelle Rally.
The Rebelle Rally
The Rebelle Rally is a women’s, multiday, off-road, long-range navigation experience. Participants don’t use phones or GPS devices. Instead, they go off-road with maps and compasses as tools. The challenge is to get to your destination with nothing but your vehicle and those tools. But, the destination is through dirt roads, barren land, and anything else along the way through Nevada and California. As the organizers put it,
“…you drive and navigate your way to checkpoints across the American West. And best of all, you get to leave your cell phone, computer, GPS, & headaches behind. It’s all about YOU. And your endless abilities.”
The Rally Prepared Lexus J201
A quick look at the photos that accompany the press release, and you can easily see some of the vehicle modifications. The first thing that stands out is the snorkel, something teams anticipating fording across water prefer to have. But, the snorkel is no good if you have no traction on the riverbanks. So a lift kit with bigger wheels and tires are all mounted to the big Lexus. Up top, there is a cargo roof rack for extra gear that is mated to a light bar at the front of it. There is also a heavy-duty bumper spare tire carrier in the back of the off-roader that also allows for a couple of extra jerry cans.
The modifications to the powerplant are how this Lexus will propel itself through the slice of America in the rally. The J201 has a supercharged, 550 hp heartbeat nestled into the engine bay. It is certainly enough to climb ridges and dunes without being anemic.
The inside of the vehicle already has plush and elegance written all over it. But in the rear, a storage deck was mounted with pull-out drawers. Overall, it is a decent package for the Rebelle Rally team to embark on their adventure with. Rachelle Croft and Taylor Pawley will do the rally duties as pilot and navigator.
An overlanding glamping-ish experience
In the end, Lexus has created a luxury appointed off-road rig. So, that means a glamping-sh overlanding experience for the team. It is not a bad way to travel. The Rebelle Rally begins October 8th. You can follow the progress of the teams through the 1,200-mile journey at www.rebellerally.com/live.