This month, the European Advances Studio for Toyota and Lexus revealed seven new designs offering a glimpse at what the luxury car manufacturer’s products might look if there was a commercial market for space vehicles.
The designs were part of a new issue of Document Journal, which commissioned ten designers to create a ‘Lunar Portfolio,’ imagining what life would be like on the moon.
The featured design is called ‘Zero Gravity,’ a single-rider style vehicle that uses a speculative magnetic levitation technology to power the vehicle as it speeds along just above the surface of the moon.
‘The design reinterprets the signature Lexus spindle grille and uses the motorcycle-style of driving to employ the new concept of Tazuna (which mean “reins” in Japanese): the fundamental human-centered philosophy,’ Lexus explained in a statement released alongside the new portfolio of designs.
‘Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering control provides active driving enjoyment created by the direct communication between human and machine.’
The magnetic levitation system will allow the Zero Gravity to travel across rocky and uneven ground at speeds of more than 300mph.
The Lexus Cosmos is designed as a massive observatory, the outer space equivalent of a double decker tourist bus meant to provide a contemplative group experience, with a separate pod designated as a ‘space swimming pool,’ where passengers can float in low gravity.
Another design called the Bouncing Moon Roller features a central cockpit surrounded by a clear, flexible graphene bubble that allows the vehicle to roll and bounce over a wide range of terrain. The cockpit is kept stabilized by a gyroscope.
The Lexus Lunar Cruiser is a kind of hybrid vehicle designed to be driven on the surface of the moon like a four-wheel drive SUV, but it can also fly by rotating its wheels outward in a 90° angle and lifting off using small thrusters underneath its chassis.
The Lexus Lunar Mission is a reflective vehicle designed solely for travel through the sky. ‘The design integrates a liquid side body, which can reflect the universe while flying toward the moon,’ the statement explains.
‘The wings are the iconic spindle shape integrated with the Lexus symbol mark as a main geometry.’
There’s also a Moon Racer, a kind of lunar sports car with wheels covered with a flexible mesh of hexagonal tread to ensure it has maximum grip and traction on the unpaved surfaces.
The final design is simply called the Lexus Lunar, a six-wheeled transport vehicle, the upper cabin of which can be detached from the drivable section to create a small lunar settlement.
In addition to Lexus, the portfolio also included a series of sneakers designed by Nike, electric scooters created by frog design, and an entire orbital city created by Dutch architecture firm OMA.