See Lexus LX 470 Unleash Its Inner Land Cruiser By Conquering Off-Road Trails

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The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX have always been closely related. The Lexus badge rarely detracted from the SUV’s off-road capability, offering the same ruggedness as its Toyota counterpart over several generations. With a new Land Cruiser about to debut for America, a video of a 20-year-old Lexus LX 470 reminds us what the SUV was capable of off-road.

The video highlights an early example of the second-generation Lexus LX 470. The driver wasn’t gentle to the vehicle over the 17-minute clip, aggressively attacking the various off-road obstacles, which the SUV had no difficulty handling. It wasn’t the most graceful off-road driving, with loud bangs and scrapes, but the LX didn’t notice, chugging along.

The nice list of aftermarket upgrades likely helped the Lexus stay on the trail. It has a high-clearance rear bumper, a heavily modified welded front bumper, skid plates, Yokohama mud tires, and DOM tube kick-out sliders. A Smittybilt 12K winch and Factor 55 recovery gear assist when things go wrong.

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The automaker introduced the model in 1995 and based it on the Land Cruiser J80, launching the second generation for 1998. The SUV debuted with the automaker’s 4.7-liter V8 engine, which made 230 horsepower until 2003, when Toyota upped it to 235 hp. A redesign for 2006 saw its output increase to 275 hp.

Toyota no longer offers the Land Cruiser in the US, which the automaker axed after the 2021 model year. However, a new version is on the way for 2024, but it won’t be related to the LX like its predecessor. Instead, all signs suggest it will share a lot with the smaller Lexus GX, riding on Toyota’s TNGA-F platform. The closest version of the full-fat Land Cruiser available to US buyers will be the new Lexus LX launched for 2022MY.

The GX is available with a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V6, making 349 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, but it’s unclear if that’ll be the engine offered in the new Land Cruiser. Toyota’s teasers preview a boxy SUV with retro styling cues, which we hope means it has some retro off-road capability.

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The new Land Cruiser should be cheaper than its predecessor and better compete with off-road models like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. Crossovers and SUVs remain popular, and buyers seem primed for Toyota’s new, rugged offering. You can watch the reveal here.