Toyota built the BLC to “conquer rugged terrain on Earth and beyond”
Toyota has several mascots that include the Miraitowa and Someity robots seen at the Tokyo Olympics and GR Issho, a little car companion that comes free with each GR purchase in the United Kingdom. But at the rate of its vehicle development, it might as well sign up Buzz Aldrin or Buzz Lightyear to endorse its latest concept, the Baby Lunar Cruiser.
This latest space-age 4x4 SUV design concept from Toyota comes from the marque’s stateside studio, Calty Design Research, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Perhaps not wanting to be outdone after Nissan’s UK design studio released the three-door 20-23 Concept city car during their 20th anniversary, the Baby Lunar Cruiser aims to roam beyond planet Earth.
Judging by the photo, you can tell this concept is no ordinary vehicle. It blends design elements from the FJ40 Land Cruiser and the real Lunar Cruiser developed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota.
Toyota’s Baby Lunar Cruiser is a full electric vehicle (EV) with in-wheel motors and does not have a steering wheel. Like an Atari game, it is controlled by joysticks as the driver navigates by looking through an expansive glass canopy and augmented reality displays. Because it is really designed to travel outside earthly conditions, its tires do not have air – like a true lunar vehicle.
Should it encounter an extra-terrestrial who can read the alphabet, it has ‘TOYOTA’ written on its nose, so it knows this thing comes from Earth. For safety, the BLC has an array of cameras, lidar/radar sensors, and a split tailgate configuration in the back (to accommodate your space haul). It uses adjustable spaceframe seats and M.O.L.L.E. (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) interior panels that adapt to any adventure.
“As we continue our journey from the automotive era into the mobility era, there is one thing I feel I can say for sure Calty will be there at the forefront,” said Simon Humphries, Toyota Motor Corporation Chief Branding Officer and Head of Design.
As outrageous as the BLC looks, this concept is what Calty is all about. Over the last 50 years, it has created some of the most iconic Toyotas including, the 1978 Toyota Celica, the ’83 MX-1, the ’97 Prius, the A80 Supra (that did not make it to production), the MX-2 sports car concept, the 2012 Fun-Vii concept, the 2012 Lexus LF-LC (which became the 2018 Lexus LC500), the 2014 FT-1 concept (which is now known as the 2020 Supra), and the 2024 Tacoma.