In 1973, Toyota developed a hush-hush design firm in Southern California, rooted in California car culture and with the intention of coming up with concepts and production vehicles for the future. The firm was called CALTY and eventually became responsible for the second-generation Celica and contributed to the debuts of the Tacoma and Prius. Not every idea made it past the cutting room but CALTY’s innovative ideas have certainly helped inform much of what Toyota has put out over the past five decades. To celebrate the label’s 50th anniversary, the Japanese marque has unveiled a brand-new off-road concept from CALTY.
Dubbed the Baby Lunar Cruiser, the new concept is very much inspired by an actual vehicle made to drive on the Moon: the Lunar Cruiser, developed by both the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and Toyota. The Baby Lunar Cruiser takes design cues from the FJ40 Land Cruiser and adds some futuristic elements to the aesthetic and functionality.
Riding on airless tires, the BLC is equipped with in-wheel electric motors and has a drivetrain controlled by a pair of joysticks. As you can see from the extra-wide panoramic windshield and side windows, the vehicle also has incredible visibility from the driver’s seat. There’s also an augmented reality dashboard display to help you see what’s in front of you more clearly. The interior also comes with adjustable spaceframe seats and MOLLE panel webbing for attaching gear and bags for your excursions ahead. Exterior features include a full array of cameras and lidar/radar sensors, a large roof rack, a split tailgate configuration in the rear, and a unique front grill that looks straight out of a sci-fi film.
The reveal of the Baby Lunar Cruiser concept also comes in tandem with some vaulted images from a few past CALTY concepts that never came to fruition, such as a travel trailer concept and a couple of high-performance mid-engine sports cars called the MX-1 and MX-2. To find out more about the CALTY studio, head over to Toyota’s website.