Toyota Unveiled A Baby Lunar Rover With FJ40 Land Cruiser Design Cues For Moon Rides6th Oct 2023
In a groundbreaking celebration of its 50th anniversary at Calty Design Research, Toyota has unveiled the Toyota Baby Lunar Rover (BLC), a futuristic marvel designed to conquer challenging terrains both on Earth and beyond the stars.
Unveiling the Baby Lunar Cruiser
Toyota is venturing into the cosmos with its ambitious project, the Toyota Lunar Cruiser. The automaker, in collaboration with the Japanese space agency JAXA and NASA, is actively involved in the creation of a manned lunar rover for the upcoming Artemis space missions. The project, officially known as the ‘Toyota Lunar Exploration Mobility Works Project,’ marks a significant stride in space exploration technology.
The Baby Lunar Cruiser, part of several concepts presented by Toyota, boasts styling cues from the iconic FJ40 Land Cruiser.
The concept also draws inspiration from the real Land Cruiser it’s developing. Toyota inked a deal in 2019 with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency to build a new moon rover. The plan is to design a manned, pressurized craft capable of exploring the lunar surface.
The company said it could design a rover capable of travelling over 10,000 kilometres (6,213 miles) using fuel cell technology. That would be less than 1,000 km short of traversing the moon’s entire equatorial circumference.
Toyota Baby Lunar Cruiser: Futuristic Interior and Technology
Inside, the BLC features a digital dashboard with augmented reality, along with dual joysticks controlling its airless tires. MOLLE panels and adjustable spaceframe seats enhance comfort and functionality. The vehicle is equipped with a full array of cameras, sensors, a split tailgate, and in-wheel motors, ensuring a seamless exploration experience.
Bold “TOYOTA” script across the front showcases its off-road prowess, emphasizing its capability to tackle rugged Lunar and Martian landscapes. Its design includes an expansive windshield canopy offering optimal visibility, wrapping around the grille.
The automotive market goes into space
While Toyota leads the charge, other automakers like Hyundai Motor Group and General Motors have also entered the lunar exploration race. Hyundai plans to launch its lunar exploration rover in 2027, utilizing components from its popular car brands.
General Motors collaborates with Lockheed Martin, developing a minimalist lunar vehicle for Project Artemis, the US’s mission to return to the moon, showcasing the spirit of competition and innovation in space exploration.
The unveiling of the Toyota Baby Lunar Rover signifies a bold step towards humanity’s interplanetary future. As automakers venture beyond Earth’s boundaries, these technological marvels pave the way for unprecedented lunar exploration, bringing us one step closer to the stars.