Concept Cars

Lexus debuts lunar mobility concept vehicle

Lexus designers submitted their ideas for lunar mobility to Document Journal magazine.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

To infinity and beyond! Okay, maybe not all the way to infinity. Lexus has contributed a sketch of a concept vehicle for the journey to the moon. The sketch has been selected to appear in Document Journal's issue No. 15.

The issue of the art and fashion magazine centers around The Lunar Design Portfolio. It seeks to answer the questions, "How shall we live? What will we wear? What will we drive?"

The European Advanced Design Studio for Toyota and Lexus, ED2, is dedicated to developing advanced concept proposals and was selected to take on the task of conceptualizing lunar mobility.

Design characteristics were harvested from the recent LF-30 Future Concept vehicle. To get to the finish line, ED2 created seven concepts from five different designers, together depicting a full lineup of space vehicles.

"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."

One of the concepts presented to Document Journal made it to print. Zero Gravity is a single rider vehicle that evolves the LF-30's "Lexus Electrified" vision to incorporate Magnetic Levitation technology.

According to a release, "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. 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."

See all the concepts below with descriptions by Lexus.

Lexus Cosmos, by Jean-Baptiste Henry

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

A transportation concept designed for both space and the lunar surface, the Lexus Cosmos features a fully sculpted glass shape that functions as a massive observatory to not only enjoy the view, but also explore the low gravity phenomenon. With a rear cockpit that emphasizes the driving feel and a front portion dedicated to contemplation, the idea was to create a new luxury and exclusive experience for the future.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Two British brands are coming together to launch a new project.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The two companies have performance-oriented contemporary design in common, but that's not all. British car company Lotus has begun working with Savile Row outfitter and bespoke tailor Norton & Sons on a new project.

For now, both companies have been relatively mum on what they're working on, but a few key details have snuck out. The first of which is that they say their creation is "For the Drivers". A clue and a tagline in one.

There are promises that the creation will, "incorporate both brands' core values of light-weighting, performance-oriented contemporary design and sporting durability." They'll make an official announcement later this year.

Lotus x Norton & Sons Norton & Sons is located on London's famed Savile Row.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Lotus has been undergoing a brand renaissance since new shareholders and management took over in 2018. In its heyday, the company had the Elan, which was recently voted as one of Britain's best classic cars, had vehicles featured in James Bond films, and was winning at the racetrack with enough frequency to claim a level of dominance.

Recently, the company has made plans for a quick and electrified future. They announced that the Lotus Evija hypercar has enter its initial build stage.

On the more pedestrian end of the spectrum, the Evora has gotten a cheaper, more daily-driver-focused variant and Elise Classic Heritage Editions were shown for the first time.

Norton & Sons was founded in 1821 and celebrates its bicentennial next year. It has clothed some of history's most stylish and inspiring men, including Hollywood legends such as actor Cary Grant, British royalty including King Edward VII, and performance pioneers such as Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the speed of sound.

Patrick Grant, Director of Norton & Sons, said: "The year I was born Lotus won the Formula 1 Constructors' Championship. Growing up it was the definitive British sports car brand. James Bond drove a Lotus Esprit and it was the car that every kid in the playground dreamed of owning. Colin Chapman is revered as an engineering icon, a pioneer and an entrepreneur of exceptional personal style. Norton & Sons has a long tradition of making for sportsmen and pioneers, so Lotus and Norton & Sons feels like a perfect fit."

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Maserati is promising an electrified future for its brand.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

In his prom "Divine Comedy," Italian author Dante Alighieri wrote, "From a little spark may burst a flame." It is fitting that Italian automaker Maserati is using a spark to tease its future.

That future includes a completely redesigned Maserati Ghibli Hybrid. Maserati has also been showing a pre-production version of the car under wraps on a tour though Italy calling it the MC20. It was designed and engineered at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, Italy.

Maserati electrification 2020 As part of its announcement, Maserati shared images of its headquarters being hit by simulated lightning.Photo courtesy of Maserati

That bit about being straight from Italy is important to the brand. Despite being owned by a company headquartered in the Netherlands (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) that is about to merge with a company headquartered in France (PSA Group), the Maserati team has been given the freedom to design using Italian sports car DNA.

That Italian sports car DNA will be merging with a hybrid powertrain in a move all about sparking Maserati sales. For its part, the company is calling it, "the first in a line of new vehicles at the vanguard of a new era for Maserati." The's a next chapter, if you will.

Throughout 2020, Maserati is expected to strengthen its position in the luxury electric vehicles market as it works to allocate more of its production space to electrified cars.

The Ghibli Hybrid goes first, later this year. The Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabriolet will begin production in 2021 as the automaker's first all-electric cars. The next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be built at the Mirafiori production hub.

Maserati's Modena facility is in the process of a remodel, which will allow it to be modified enough to begin producing what the company is calling a "super sports car" in 2020.The Ghibli Hybrid will have the first hybrid engine in the history of the marque.

A forthcoming Maserati utility vehicle is set to be built at Cassino in 2021. The automaker is already teasing the model saying that it is, "intended to play a leading role for the brand, thanks to its innovative technologies." Technological innovation is not something Maserati has been known for lately so this could be a welcome change.

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