Calty lifts lid on ‘Baby’ lunar cruiser

Riley Riley

CALTY Design Research is celebrating five decades of groundbreaking design and innovation.

The first major automotive design studio on the west coast, CALTY created everything from the 1978 Toyota Celica to the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, and countless concepts and production vehicles in between.

To mark the occasion it has provided a glimpse into the future with the surprise reveal of its latest concept the Toyota Baby Lunar Cruiser (BLC).

Built to conquer rugged terrain on Earth and beyond, BLC embodies a unique mix of adaptive technology and heritage design cues from the original FJ40 Land Cruiser.

CALTY is always thinking about what’s next, so it’s no surprise that its latest creation was inspired by a vehicle built to drive on the moon.

The Baby Lunar Cruiser (BLC) blends design cues from the original FJ40 Land Cruiser with the futuristic capabilities of an interplanetary exploration vehicle. BLC draws inspiration from the real Lunar Cruiser being developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota.

Propelled by in-wheel electric motors and controlled by dual joysticks, the BLC’s compact footprint and airless tires give it unparalleled manoeuvrability.

It also boasts exceptional outward visibility thanks to its protruding glass canopy and a panoramic, augmented reality dashboard display.

Heritage cues include a “TOYOTA” script grille up front, complete with a full array of cameras and lidar/radar sensors, and a split tailgate configuration in back.

Highly adjustable spaceframe seats and M.O.L.L.E. panels throughout give the interior the flexibility to adapt to any kind of adventure.

The BLC is the latest in a long line of thought-provoking concepts dreamed up by the CALTY design team.

Some of those concepts – like an early FJ40 proposal and the MX-2 sports car concept – never made it past the walls of the design studio but are being shared for the first time today.

Today, CALTY is made up of a talented group of exterior and interior designers, CMF (Color, Material, Finish) designers, clay modellers, digital sculptors, visualisation specialists, paint specialists, CAD/CAM specialists, a research/planning group, a PR/Multimedia team and administrative group, all working together to create the next big thing in mobility.

“As we continue our journey from the automotive era into the mobility era, there is one thing I feel I can say for sure,” says Simon Humphries, Toyota Motor Corporation Chief Branding Officer and Head of Design. “CALTY will be there at the forefront.”

As the automotive industry shifts toward an electrified future, CALTY will continue to lead the space with innovative vehicles such as the 2021 Lexus Electrified Sport concept.

CALTY’s most recent production designs, the highly anticipated 2024 Land Cruiser and the 2024 Tacoma, showcase their commitment to moving forward and embracing new technology while still remaining authentic to the brand’s heritage DNA.

True to their innovative spirit, CALTY’s creative teams are continually exploring new ways to integrate technology and movement into future mobility solutions. From sports cars to trucks to BEVs, CALTY has left an indelible mark on the automotive landscape, showcasing their design prowess and passion for driving excellence.

As CALTY embarks on the next 50 years, Hunter reflects, “There’s no way we could have thrived without Toyota’s support for enabling new ideas. CALTY’s role to explore, innovate, and inspire is ingrained in our DNA, and we are excited to continue pushing boundaries in automotive design.”


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