Lexus J201 concept is a modified LX 570 that's ready for the Rebelle Rally
This is the LX 570 we've always wanted -- built for pure adventure.
Emme HallFormer editor for CNET Cars
I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.
debuted the J201 concept on Tuesday, and it'll make its public debut later this week when it participates in the 2020 Rebelle
. Driven by 2019 Rebelle 4x4 class champions Rachelle Croft and Taylor Pawley, the J201 takes a standard
Lexus LX 570
and turns everything up to 11.
Since the LX is essentially a gussied-up
Toyota Land Cruiser
, that means it has some excellent off-road chops. The J201 -- named after Lexus' internal chassis code -- uses the same 5.7-liter V8 as the standard LX, but has a Magnuson supercharger, pushing output to 550 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission remains the same, although it's re-geared to handle the additional power. The differentials are upgraded and ARB air lockers are added, as well. Suspension enhancements are taken care of by Icon Vehicle Dynamics and the air suspension can raise the rig 4.8 inches in the front and 4.1 inches in the rear. This not only improves ground clearance, but approach and departure angles, as well.
Front and rear bumpers provided by CBI give the J201 more protection, as do rock sliders and skid plates for the front, transfer case and fuel tank. A winch and a whole lot of lighting rounds out the J201's face, while the rear sports a ladder to access roof storage, a swing-out spare tire carrier and two 5-gallon water cans.
General Grabber X3 33-inch tires are wrapped around 17-inch wheels and the brakes are drilled and slotted to help bring this powerful full-size SUV to a stop. Inside, there's a nifty drawer organizer system with built-in dog food and water bowls, natch. There is even a set of aluminum suitcases.
Croft and Pawley will be defending their title in the seven-day, all-female, navigational Rebelle Rally. It's not a race for speed but rather a rally where careful driving and navigational accuracy win points. GPS is strictly forbidden and teams find their way to checkpoints using just a compass and a map. While some checkpoints are marked, others are not, making careful map reading a priority.
The Rebelle Rally starts in Lake Tahoe, California, this weekend and makes its way south, ending in the dunes of Glamis, California, near the Mexican border. The Rally will hold a prologue day on Friday, Oct. 9, with competition starting the next day. Croft and Pawley are in car No. 100, and you can track their progress on the Rebelle Rally website.