The New Lexus GX 550 Is Overland Ready

Photo By: Lexus

Luxury brand Lexus has rolled out a new and improved GX model for 2024 that is redesigned from the ground up. The new overlanding-focused Overtrail trim offers a number of capability-focused features that will make this a great option for overlanders looking for a luxury backcountry rig.

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

It’s been just over 20 years since the GX model line debuted, and for 2024 the big 7-seater will come in six trim levels, Premium, Premium Plus, Luxury, Luxury Plus, and the new Overtrail and Overtrail Plus. All versions will be based on the same chassis, which has grown in almost every direction, including 3.74 inches wider and 2.75 inches longer, with a 2.36-inch increase in wheelbase. The big Overtrail trims are 4.52 inches wider, likely due to fender flares, which Lexus calls “overfenders.” Overall height is about 75.5 inches, except for the Overtrail, which just tops 76 inches. The Overtrail ground clearance works out to 26 degrees on approach, 24 degrees breakover, and 22 degrees on departure, all of which Lexus claims are improvements over previous models. An aluminum skid plate is standard on Overtrail trims.

And those flares will actually be functional as the Overtrail will roll on 33-inch all-terrain tires fitted to 18-inch wheels, giving the Overtrail another four inches of tread contact with the terrain. The rubber will bite using a standard Full-Time 4WD system with a Hi and Low transfer case and a Torsen limited-slip center differential that can be electronically locked.

READ MORE: Gear Showcase: June, 2023

Just what exactly the “Plus” in each trim includes remains to be seen, as every trim gets a twin-turbo 3.4-liter V6 that puts out 349 ponies, up from just 301 last year. A 10-speed auto with manual Direct Shift will route 479 pound-feet of torque to the rotating bits. Premium and Overtrail versions can tow 8,000 pounds, while the Luxury variants top out at 6,780 pounds. Lexus says a hybrid powertrain is forthcoming, but no details have been released.

The look of the GX has changed as well, with a blockier, more angular cut to the bodywork that has more than a slight echo of some legendary competitors, such as the older Land Rover Discovery series. It’s a good look, with Lexus sneaking in a spin on its trademark “spindle” front end to match the harder lines of the bodywork.

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Photo by Lexus

Prepare to be pampered while inside the GX. A 14-inch touchscreen handles tech duties, and if the stock 10-speaker audio system isn’t up to snuff, buyers can opt for a Mark Levinson 21-speaker setup for in-car concerts. Numerous leather-like seat options are available, and Lexus says the interior finishes are “earth-toned” thematically. Overtrail and Overtrail Plus grades will offer two-tone color combos, including Atomic Silver/Black Roof, Incognito/Black Roof, Nori Green Pearl/Black Roof, and a new Earth/Black Roof look. Also, there are a dozen cupholders, and the front seats can be optioned for built-in massage capability.

The GX is fully teched out with Lexus’ Safety System+ 3.0, which includes every safety nanny and tech trick, including a head-up display, smart cruise, pedestrian sensing, “3D Multi-Terrain Monitor,” Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, and even a Crawl Control mode. No prices were specified, but Lexus says they expect the new GX to go on sale early next year.

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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