Even if NASA does somehow end up making its 2024 Moon landing deadline, it still has another big problem to reckon with: How to get its astronauts around in style. Because let’s face it, Boeing’s bare-bones moon buggy of yesteryear is so mid-century gouache.
To save us from any accidental, extraterrestrial fashion faux pas, Lexus designers recently drew up some sleek new concepts for 21st-century lunar transportation.
ED2, the European design studio behind Lexus and Toyota, submitted seven “moon mobility concepts”—aka moon whips—for art and fashion magazine Document Journal as part of the outlet’s Lunar Design Portfolio, a visual study of how folks might go about their lives on the Moon.
And they all look like they’d fit right at home in a Star Wars movie. The Lexus Lunar looks like the Apollo Program’s iconic lunar rover on steroids, the Lunar Cruiser’s hefty tires can handle rough terrain and turn 90 degrees to go completely off-road and fly drone-style, and I’m pretty sure the podlike Bouncing Moon Roller made a cameo in Spy Kids 2.
Don’t be expecting these designs to see the light of day any time soon; they’re just proof of concepts, an exercise in exploring how we’d putter around up there. But they’re still hecking cool to look out. Check out all seven below:
What immediately caught my eye, though, is the space motorcycle sketch that made the magazine’s print issue and this blog’s cover art: the Zero Gravity. There’s simply no convincing me that’s not a Tron light cycle. Just look at it! It’s even got a light trail behind it!
I asked the folks over at Lexus about the blatant ode to an ‘80s classic, and they informed me I was mistaken: When coming up with the light cycle’s look, designer Karl Dujardin “was purely inspired by Lexus LF30 Electrified, as he was the interior designer for this project,” said Prue Hyman, the communications manager of Lexus International, Prue Hyman. “Lexus philosophy as well as Tazuna concept are more influential on his creation on Zero Gravity than anything.”
Yeaaaah, I don’t buy it. Call it what you want, but that, sir, is a Tron bike. And I’m about to kick all y’all’s asses when we get to racing on the Moon.