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Lexus unveils hydrogen-engined ROV concept

Lexus revealed a new ROV (Recreational Off-highway Vehicle) Concept, a hydrogen-engined vehicle offering near zero-emissions driving combined with extreme off-road capability. It reflects a commitment by Lexus to ensure exhilarating driving can co-exist with a carbon-free society centered on responsible mobility.


While tackling its carbon neutrality goals, Lexus is passionate about the enjoyment of driving cars. This ROV Concept embodies the exciting sound of an ICE and the responsive rise in torque that comes from the fast combustion speed of hydrogen, which Lexus believes is highly compatible with the ROV.

This hydrogen-powered ROV concept is the result of Lexus’ desire to preserve off-road pleasure in tomorrow’s low-carbon society. The 1.0-liter hydrogen engine works just like a gasoline engine, but with a high-pressure tank for compressed hydrogen which is delivered precisely by a direct hydrogen injector. Lexus’ new hydrogen engine produces close to zero emissions, with a negligible amount of engine oil burned during driving.

For the Lexus ROV Concept, the design team developed a vehicle that would look good in all kinds of natural environments. The car bears all the true hallmarks of an off-road vehicle with an exposed suspension, protective cage and chunky off-road tyres for driving along muddy tracks. Dimensions are: 3,120 mm (length), 1,725 mm (width), 1,800 mm (height).

The design team wanted to create the kind of vehicle people would expect from a luxury carmaker yet without losing the rugged performance of an ROV. They designed a body that could protect passengers, incorporate the iconic Lexus signature grille and preserve enough travel for the front suspension. In addition, the front fenders were conceived to offer protection against any stray rocks and mud.

The suspension cover, connected to the rear hydrogen fuel tank, protects functional parts as well as conveying the sense of durability inherited from Lexus SUVs. Dark bronze paint is carefully crafted along with a lightweight body and suspension designed for both comfort and fun off-road driving. Lexus ‘L’-motif front and rear lights and the rear LEXUS badge express the latest Lexus design language.

Inside, based on the Tazuna concept, the ROV has a simple meter that instantly reads the information the driver needs while the driver concentrates on driving.



Another vehicle from Toyota/Lexus to compete for the WTF vehicle of the month.

"This ROV Concept embodies the exciting sound of an ICE..." Maybe, you could enjoy the out doors more if you could hear the birds and other sounds of nature but unfortunately there are those who equate sound with performance.


Congratulations Toyota and Lexus on this again perfect ICE now powered by H2. I can imagine that H2 and e-fuels will shape the future more freely like BEVs because these vehicles are monsters! A BEV with a curb weight of more than 5000 pounds can never be ecological! The good thing is that ICE vehicles with H2 and e-fuels are only 100 pounds heavier than the basic ones with gasoline, LPG, CNG, E85 and diesel. One should think about whether the climate hysteria is a BEV dictatorship or not!


The project allows Toyota/Lexus to show off cool photos without any need to actually produce anything. H2 is hard enough to source in major metro areas, to say nothing about finding suppliers near the wilderness areas people use vehicles like this.

How long do you think it will be before you see an H2 station in Glamis?


For folks not familiar with Southern California’s premier buggy recreation area, I am referring to Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA), known locally by the name of the town closest to it, Glamis. Think Mad Max and you’ll have a very good approximation of the scene.


People who enjoy recreating in ISDRA may take offense at the Mad Max reference but I mean that in the best possible way.


"This ROV Concept embodies the exciting sound of an ICE ...."
Some individuals just cannot enjoy life without constant rumbling noise in their ears and the prevalent stench of death in their nostrils.

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While this may be cool for ISDRA or off-road events, there may actually be a practical use for this H2 ROV engine.
An H2 ICE is a very difficult engine to develop due to Hydrogen tendency to pre-ignite,I.e. knock. This SAE International article describes in detail the problems and how Mahle was able to solve these issues (https://www.sae.org/news/2021/11/mahle-liebherr-develop-active-pre-chamber-hydrogen-engine).
Also, in this Press release “MAHLE Powertrain collaborates with Liebherr to co-develop active pre-chamber technology for heavy-duty hydrogen-fuelled engines”,
points out:
As a fuel for proven and existing ICE technology in aggressive environments, hydrogen is ideally suited to the high load duty cycles with sudden load steps, heat, dust and vibration of heavy duty and off-road use. This is not the case for battery electric or fuel-cell powertrains.
Reference: https://www.liebherr.com/en/usa/latest-news/news-press-releases/detail/mahle-powertrain-collaborates-with-liebherr-to-co-develop-active-pre-chamber-technology-for-heavy-duty-hydrogen-fuelled-engines.html
Toyota also makes Industrial Engines (https://www.toyota-industries.com/products/automobile/engine/industrial/) and this makes sense particularly if the company using these engines has their own H2 infrastructure.

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Forgot to mention that UK Heavy Equipment manufacturer JCB is also developing H2 ICE (https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry-news-tech%2C-development-and-manufacturing/jcb-unveils-hydrogen-fuelled-combustion).

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