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Lexus has revealed two new environmentally friendly off-road concept vehicles at Tokyo Auto Salon.
The NX PHEV OFFROAD Concept and the ROV Concept vehicles “embody Lexus’ efforts to realize a carbon-neutral society,” apparently.
The NX PHEV OFFROAD Concept is based on the existing NX SUV, Lexus’ first plug-in hybrid model, which went on sale in November last year. It has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine supplemented with 5 NM and 4 NM electric motors on the front and rear axles, respectively.
The concept SUV is capable of functioning as a pure battery-electric vehicle or as a plug-in hybrid, giving “refined driving performance” and “excellent environmental performance.”
The modified body, meanwhile, comes with raised suspension, large-diameter off-road tyres. It also gets a “beautifully finished” custom bronze and black paint scheme.
The Recreational Off-highway Vehicle, or the ROV Concept, aims “to provide a driving experience in nature unlike any passenger vehicle.”
It is also the first Lexus vehicle to use a hydrogen engine, making it better for the planet than other off-road buggies while “still providing stimulation and excitement made possible only through the vibrations of an engine-powered vehicle.”
The 1.0-litre hydrogen engine stores compressed hydrogen in a high-pressure tank and injects the fuel via direct injectors.
The result, according to Lexus, is an environmentally friendly engine that produces high response torque from the fast-burning hydrogen. In addition, engine oil consumption during driving is kept to a minimum, resulting in virtually no CO2 emissions.
The ROV Concept can be driven in two- or four-wheel drive thanks to locking differentials.
Lexus, of course, started out as Toyota’s luxury arm aimed at the American market. However, these new vehicles represent a slightly different turn – off-roading in muddy conditions isn’t exactly luxury.
It’s also interesting to see Toyota doubling down on its hydrogen-engine technology, which it is currently using in a Yaris racing car, as well.