Is the Lexus GX 460 a Legitimate Off-Road Vehicle?
When one thinks of a Lexus, you would normally consider it an upper-mid tier luxury vehicle built for the city. Something to drive about town, or even take the family on a road trip. (The operative word here being 'Road'.) However, there is a small but dedicated niche of people who are modifying the GX 460 for more robust off-road driving then the stock model could normally handle. The main focus of this group is on transforming their GX series SUV into an overlanding vehicle. Your view of a Lexus might change once you see what it's capable of with a little modification. After all, a Lexus is really a Toyota at it's core.
Two essential elements for a GX 460 off-road build are a suspension upgrade, followed by new tires and wheels that are suitable for rough terrain. Newer GX 460 models have an available off-road package that includes Multi-Terrain Monitor, Crawl Control, Multi-Terrain Select (Loose Rock, Rock, Rock & Dirt, Mud & Sand, and Mogul), Fuel-Tank Skid Plate, and a Transmission-Oil Cooler. It is a full-time 4 wheel drive vehicle, offering high or low range with a lockable transfer case. So, the GX is already on it's way to being a very capable off-road vehicle. There are a number of companies offering lift kits and performance shocks & springs for the GX series, so it's relatively easy to find what you need for your build. There are loads of possibilities for wheels and tires for it's 6x135 bolt pattern.
There are a handful of winch-ready bumpers on the market, and we feel our Full Length Modular Front Bumper provides superior protection, utility, and style than any other bumper on the market. It improves ground clearance and approach angle, and offers mounting points for factory turn signals, parking sensors, and 2 pod light mounts for supplemental lighting. The bumper can accommodate up to a 12,000 lb winch, and features an integrated skid plate to protect the front end. Having a winch on a long overland journey is essential, as you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without any help nearby and no cell signal. Having a good pair of traction boards is also a very good idea.
Rock sliders are another important feature in an off-road build. Protecting the vulnerable lower part of the body from large rocks is important, and sliders achieve just that. We currently have tubular rock sliders for the GX 460 in development, and you can get a look at them in the picture above.Other Helpful Modifications/Accessories
Many people will install lockers for the differentials, and also re-gear to a lower set for better performance off-road. This gives you the traction you need in particularly rough terrain. A roof rack is another standard accessory for your off-road build, particularly if you're doing an overland build and need a place to mount your tent! When you're driving out in the wilderness far from the closest cell tower, a cellphone signal booster comes in handy. Other improvements include refrigerated food storage, an auxiliary lithium battery, air compressor, and other items to help you survive and be comfortable on long overland trips.