I love a good concept car. And I'm pretty keen on space—Charlie Brown bears responsibility for getting me interested at a very early age. So obviously my interest was going to be piqued by an email from Lexus containing a bunch of design sketches from ED2, its European Advanced Design Studio thinking about what we might drive on the moon.
LF-30 concept car; you may remember if from our coverage of last year's LA Auto Show.
"When Document Journal approached us about the Lunar Design Portfolio, our team was working on the LF-30 Concept, which represents the "Lexus Electrified" futuristic vision for Lexus. The design team was already looking beyond near-term production and ahead to how advanced technology will change the way we interact with vehicles," said Ian Cartabiano, President of ED2. "The lunar project came at the right time, half way through the LF-30 development. It gave the team a chance to dream further out, and then apply some of the design language from the LF- 30 interior to their lunar proposals."
The designs run the gamut from somewhat-normal wheeled vehicles to much less conventional designs. The six-wheeled Lexus Lunar is perhaps the easiest design I could imagine cruising around on the Sea of Tranquility and better integrates Lexus' hourglass-shaped grille than any of the OEM's current road cars. The Lexus Moon Racer and Lexus Lunar Cruiser are both four-wheeled cars; one a sleek pod with hexagonally faceted tires, the other is able to rotate its tires by 90 degrees "to fly like a drone," which is puzzling because of the wheels are meant to become lift rotors then surely that would require some sort of atmosphere to work.
Things start getting a little weirder with Zero Gravity, a hover bike that would not look out of place on Naboo. The Bouncing Moon Roller looks a bit like those pods from one of the recent Jurassic Park films, with a gyroscopic cell protected by a "flexible graphene nanotube-based bubble." Then there's the Lexus Lunar Mission, which is a flying vehicle that feels the most phoned-in, and finally the Lexus Cosmos, which might be most at home in the world(s) of Iain M. Banks.