Just before Christmas, I wrote about the rather fun little hydrogen powered Lexus ROV concept with its easy on the eye classy bronze and black looks. A couple of months on and Lexus has now shown the ROV concept in the flesh at the three-day Tokyo Auto Salon held at Makuhari Mess and running from 14 January until 16 January 2022 – along with what looks like a sister vehicle, the NX PHEV Offroad concept… And we now know that lovely metallic bronze colour to be called Iron Oxide.

You can read all about the Lexus ROV (or the Recreational Off-highway Vehicle if you prefer) concept here, but what about the colour matched NX PHEV Offroad? Well, this off-roader is a seemingly beefed-up version of the Lexus NX – specifically the first NX to go on sale in November last year, the Lexus NX450h+ plug-in hybrid. The PHEV Offroad uses a 4-cylinder 2.5-litre twin electric motor plug-in hybrid powertrain, with each electric motor placed on each axle giving the vehicle its all-wheel drive system.

The idea behind Lexus revealing these fine-looking concepts is to illustrate, as most manufacturers are keen to illustrate these days, the Lexus commitment to aiming towards carbon-neutral automobiles, and while this pair of bronzed hybrids isn’t quite offering completely zero emissions just yet, it is a big step forward towards the goal. As with the ROV concept, the NX PHEV Offroad is designed to offer good off-road capability, while still maintaining a comfortable driving experience on the road too giving a reliable road performance thanks to the twin electric motors. With both of these concept vehicles, Lexus is also assuring us that driving can still be fun during this period where so many manufacturers set their sights on the best carbon-neutral driving experience.

The front electric motor of the NX PHEV Offroad produces a maximum output of 134kW and 270Nm of torque, while the rear motor produces 30kW and 121Nm respectively. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive system is the in-house Lexus E-Four. The standard road going NX electric powertrain will give you a range of around 40 miles with a top speed of 85mph purely using electric power. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to presume that this beefed up big wheel version will offer a bit less than that even when just driving the rear wheels only.

The NX PHEV Offroad has been kitted out with 17-inch alloys and a set of BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres that nicely complement the combination of bronze paint, smoked details and mixture of gloss and matte black exterior details. Of course, the suspension has been tweaked for off-road compatibility and raised slightly to give more clearance for those aggressive tyres and improved ground clearance.

While Lexus hasn’t revealed too much detail regarding the NX PHEV Offroad or the ROV concept, visually they do look a treat; the combo of matte and gloss black detail mixed with the bronze ‘Iron Oxide’ paint certainly gives off the sort of luxury, quality vibes that I’m sure Lexus would have been aiming for.

Images: global.toyota

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