Lexus dialled up the ruggedness at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon with a modified version of its upcoming NX mid-sized SUV.

    Called the NX PHEV Offroad Concept, this vehicle is based on the NX 450h+ F Sport plug-in hybrid (PHEV) which is set to arrive Down Under in late January 2022.

    Powering this NX concept is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors and an 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery, with a total system output of 227kW of power.

    This power is sent to all-four wheels through an ‘E-Four’ electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system.

    Finished in a custom ‘Iron Oxide’ bronze and matte black exterior paint scheme, the NX PHEV Offroad concept has received a 35mm lift as well as a number of off-road add-ons to make it look more rugged.

    From the front, there’s a matte black grille with a unique mesh insert and a smoked Lexus emblem. Around the side there are 17-inch off-road alloy wheels wrapped in 265/65R17 BFGoodrich all-terrain tyres.

    Other alterations from the regular NX 450h+ on the side are matte black door handles, as well as smoked door mirror visors and windows.

    On the roof are matte black Lexus-branded roof rails with a Thule matte black carrier basket. At the back the only changes are smoked Lexus and model designation badges.

    Alongside the NX PHEV Offroad concept, Lexus once again showed off its ROV hydrogen-powered off-road buggy. There’s a theme here.

    An abbreviation for recreational off-highway vehicle, the ROV is powered by a rear-mounted 1.0-litre hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine (ICE).

    Lexus claims the ROV is “close to zero emissions”, but the combustion process still produces NOx as air is mostly nitrogen. The automaker also admits a “negligible amount of engine oil [is] burned during driving”.

    There’s no word on how much power and torque the ROV’s engine produces, but we do know it’s redline is 10,500rpm.

    Power is sent through a sequential paddle shift transmission with selectable two- and four-wheel drive modes as well as a differential lock.

    The ROV is finished in the same ‘Oxide Bronze’ exterior paint as the NX PHEV Offroad concept and has exposed suspension, a roll cage, and knobbly off-road tyres.

    It’s unclear if Lexus has any plans to put the ROV into production, but if it does it’ll easily be the smallest vehicle from the brand as it’s just 3120mm long, 1725mm wide and 1800mm tall.

    Lexus says that these two concept vehicles it displayed at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon “embody Lexus’ efforts to realise a carbon neutral society, expand customer choices, challenge to suggest diversifying and expanding lifestyles, and provide new values that exceed expectations.”

    The company announced in late 2021 that by 2035 it’ll only sell electric cars.

    Lexus definitely embraced an off-road theme at the recent Tokyo event, having shown off the pictured, modified LX600 developed with Japanese off-road aftermarket part manufacturer JAOS.

    MORE: Lexus ROV: Hydrogen buggy concept unveiled
    MORE: Lexus will sell only electric cars by 2035

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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