Recently, Toyota introduced an EV concept that takes design cues from both its historic Land Cruiser off-road vehicles and its proposed lunar rover.
Toyota announced that the Baby Lunar Cruiser was created to celebrate CALTY, its California design office,’s 50th anniversary. From the 1978 Toyota Celica through the 2024 Toyota Tacoma pickup, CALTY has created production vehicles spanning four decades.
Toyota drew inspiration from the FJ40 Land Cruiser and the futuristic Lunar Cruiser it is creating with JAXA. A six-wheeled hydrogen fuel-cell prototype will emerge in 2019, and the Lunar Cruiser will be unveiled for a lunar journey in 2020.
The Baby Lunar Cruiser takes its cues from the 2019 lunar rover idea, but its cab-rearward proportions and massive grille emblazoned with the word “Toyota” are reminiscent of the Earthbound Land Cruiser. According to Toyota, it uses in-wheel motors controlled by dual joysticks and has airless tires for use in microgravity.
Baby Lunar Cruiser Design Cues May Influence Future Electric SUVs
The Baby Lunar Cruiser’s design may influence future electric SUVs on Earth, even though it’s a concept. The Toyota Compact Cruiser EV, another electric concept influenced by the FJ40 Land Cruiser, may easily adopt some of these ideas for a future production model.
Toyota will build a three-row electrified SUV and a fuel-efficient flagship in the US. For the Tokyo exhibition later this month, though, it may save a new batch of production-ready EV prototypes.
Previous comparisons between the Chevy Bolt EV and GM’s 1971 electric Lunar Rover were intriguing. Is Toyota prepping its production of electric vehicles to compete?