CALTY Design Research is celebrating five decades of groundbreaking design and

The first major automotive design studio on the US 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, CALTY is made up of a talented group of exterior and interior designers, CMF
(Color, Material, Finish) designers, clay modelers, digital sculptors, visualization
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.”


About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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