Car designers have to think into the future and how vehicles will look like. They have to study trends in various industries and society as well as understand what technologies are likely to mature and be available for commercialisation.
Occasionally, they also get inspiration from vehicles that are very advanced – like jet fighters and spacecraft. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, CALTY – Toyota’s advanced design studio in California – has come up with the Baby Lunar Cruiser (BLC) which was inspired by a future vehicle built to drive on the moon.
Design cues of original FJ40
It has the design cues of the original FJ40 Land Cruiser which helped to establish Toyota’s name in America in the 1950s. Heritage cues include a TOYOTA script grille up front besides the familiar shape of the legendary 4×4 vehicle.
It also has ideas from the real Lunar Cruiser being developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota.
The occupants can enjoy exceptional visibility of the surroundings with the protruding glass canopy. For more details of the terrain, there is also a panoramic, augmented reality dashboard display which receives information from a full array of cameras and lidar/radar sensors.
Highly adjustable spaceframe seats and M.O.L.L.E. (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) panels throughout give the interior the flexibility to adapt to any kind of adventure. The tailgate at the back is split to offer additional functionality.
Fully electric drivetrain with airless tyres
The BLC is proposed with a fully electric drivetrain with in-wheel motors. Instead of a steering wheel, the driver will use dual joy-sticks to guide it. With its compact footprint, it will be highly manoeuvrable and airless tyres will enable it to cross rugged terrain without fear of punctures.
The BLC is just a concept but with news of a ‘baby Land Cruiser’ about to be unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show, could this be a teaser?