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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.”

Nx Concept
The Lexus NX PHEV OFFROAD Concept

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.

Rov Concept
The Lexus ROV Concept

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. 

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