Before it was cachet, the activity of self-reliant, long-term, off-road excursions had roots tied to early 20th-century Australians who would transport livestock long distances over rough terrain. Over the next century, as motor vehicles became more capable, overlanding spread just as regular off-roading did — though not as quickly or ubiquitously. Still very much reserved for those in the know, overlanding has grown significantly over the past couple of decades as technology and equipment have made doing so “easier.” Events such as the Overland Expo have helped increase awareness of the activity and allowed enthusiasts and tradespeople from all over to view and share the latest and greatest in the overlanding world. And for three years running, the folks behind Overland Expo have selected a vehicle they’re calling the “Ultimate Overland Vehicle.” Here they present their pick for 2023.
Held annually since 2009, in up to four different locations across the country, Overland Expo kicks off the year with Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona. There it will debut a modified 2022 Lexus LX600, which uses components from 25 different exhibitors appearing at the show. Created for a family of four to go overlanding, the build features a Prinsu roof rack with an Armadillo A2 Rooftop Tent from 23ZERO, an ARB Summit MKII bumper, ARB Intensity IQ lights, suspension components from Total Chaos and Radflo, ICON Dynamics 17-inch compression wheels with Kenda Klever R/T tires, tactical chair and table from Helinox, and navigation provided by onX Offroad Trail Maps. All components were installed by MULE Expedition Outfitters.
If that weren’t enough, the LX600 is also towing an air-conditioned Pando 2.0 camper from Off Grid Trailers, which includes a queen-size sleeping area, on-demand hot water, and a 23ZERO shower enclosure and Peregrine 270 rooftop awning. The rear galley kitchen also features a dual-burner cooktop with 33 gallons of potable water on board, as well as a Solo Stove Pi Duale Pizza Oven in the slide-out storage compartment.
While the Ultimate Overland Vehicle 2023 makes its debut in Flagstaff this weekend, it will also be showcased at the Overland Expo Pacific Northwest in Redmond, Oregon and Overland Expo Mountain West in Loveland, Colorado in July and August, respectively. At a later date, the modified 2022 LX600 will be auctioned off via Bring a Trailer with proceeds going to the Overland Expo Foundation charity.