Lexus NX PHEV Offroad Concept revealed at Tokyo

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lexus nx offroad phev concept

Lexus’s off-road version of the NX gets chunky tyres, tough off-road alloys and a few bolt-on off-road trinkets.

Lexus went a bit off-brand for this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, launching the ROV off-road buggy and this – an off-road version of its famously tarmac-biased NX crossover. It’s called the NX PHEV Offroad Concept, and it was designed to show how Lexus can balance driving fun with its climate ambitions.

It’s based on NX 450h+ and is powered by the brand’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain, the combustion portion of which produces 135kW and 270Nm of torque. The petrol engine is supported by an 18.1kWh battery pack and a 40kW electric motor mounted on the rear wheels, giving the car four-wheel drive.

To turn the standard NX into the Offroad Concept, Lexus started by swapping its standard wheels and tyres for tougher 17-inch off-road alloys, shod in BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres. The firm also bolted on some new matt-black roof rails and a carrier basket.

Other cosmetic tweaks include a new Iron Oxide paint finish, a Lexus-branded sunstrip across the windscreen, gloss black window surrounds and matt-black replacements for the car’s radiator grille, door handles and badges.

The car’s ride-height has also been raised slightly, to provide some extra clearance for the knobbly off-road tyres. The lifted platform also allows the Offroad Concept to crest obstacles that would likely strand the road-going SUV.

Although it’s not a particular concern for this concept, the electric portion of the NX 450h+’s powertrain should also allow the Offroad concept to cover at least 50km on EV power alone – albeit only driving the rear wheels.

Lexus hasn’t confirmed the SUV’s pure-electric capabilities, but we expect the heavier alloys and off-road tyres will reduce the powertrain’s efficiency. For comparison, the standard NX can cover 65km on electric power alone, at speeds of up to 135km/h.

Luke Wilkinson

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