By on August 28, 2020

If you hadn’t heard, Toyota has pitched a lunar rover to serve as a vehicle for an upcoming international moon mission led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and supported by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) — among other extra-planetary organizations. Conceptualized last year, the six-wheeled dune hopper offers more creature comforts than the original Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) produced by Boeing and General Motors’ Defense Research Laboratories decades ago.

But it needed a name, and Toyota figured it might as well find something fitting that also helped it market products here on Earth (assuming it’s chosen for the mission). Fortunately, the brand’s history includes a vehicle that’s known to be so reliable and adept at traversing unforgiving terrain that it’s become internationally famous for it: the Land Cruiser.

Announcing its decision Friday, Toyota said it wants the moon buggy to be named “Lunar Cruiser.” The automaker didn’t omit mentioning the obvious connection to its own SUV. (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2017

suzuki-e-survivor

While in the midst of developing the next Jimny, a model you might remember better as the Samurai, Suzuki also made an effort to set up a secondary compact off-roader at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Less grounded than the fourth-generation Jimny, the e-Survivor concept looks like a mashup between Jeep’s Wrangler and the lunar rover NASA took to the moon.

The name suggests something serious but the design speaks directly to weekend rock crawlers and fun-loving dune buggy enthusiasts. It certainly looks capable of both activities. The open-topped two-seater uses a lightweight ladder frame, all-wheel drive, and has enough ground clearance to be a scrappy little off-roader. However, as an electric, its value as a legitimate “survival vehicle” is dubious — unless you’re willing to swap gas canisters for solar panels in your post-apocalyptic scenario.  (Read More…)

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