Sometimes, concept cars are supposed to preview future production models. Other times, automakers simply like to show off. Either way, we love wild and wacky concepts – like these five from Toyota that never even made it to the show floor, much less the showroom.
Toyota is calling these five concept cars "Hidden Gems." They were designed by the automaker’s CALTY Design Research facility in California and hidden away behind closed doors. Now Toyota is taking them out of storage for the world to see (digitally, at least).
In 1989, Toyota commissioned this streamlined, ultra-aerodynamic Future High Performance sports car concept. It featured fully enclosed front wheel wells and an engine that emerged from the body with the push of a button so it could be cooled while driving. Naturally, nothing this radical ever made it to production.
Before the Prius was even a thought, CALTY designed this adorable all-electric hatchback with a funky two-door layout. Its unique sloped shape and flat surfaces gave it excellent aerodynamics, while ultra-thin tires reduced rolling resistance.
Inspired by the Scion FR-S (now the Toyota GR86), CALTY created this all-wheel-drive, four-door shooting brake version of the then-new sports car. It even had the same flat-four-cylinder engine and a driver-focused cockpit. Unfortunately, Toyota didn't provide any images of the cabin, and decided against a production variant.
Designed to be an affordable city car, the aptly named Scion NYC concept looks funky and futuristic. It has a tall greenhouse and a tiny front end with two vertical headlights sticking out from the hood. Front passengers would actually stand inside the car, leaning against back supports, while foldable seats in the rear allowed for two additional passengers.
Okay, technically we have seen this one before. Either way, it's awesome. Inspired by the larger Lunar Cruiser that Toyota debuted earlier in 2023, the Baby Lunar Cruiser imagines an other-worldly off-roader for the year 2030. Designed for exploration missions on the moon's surface, the Baby Lunar Cruiser has in-wheel motors and airless tires, and a joystick control inside manages steering, throttle, and braking. It even has artificial intelligence that can detect hazardous terrain before the driver can see it.2023-12-01T18:52:10Z dg43tfdfdgfd