Land Rover Defender Reportedly Will Spawn Smaller, Bigger Models

Land Rover Defender reportedly will spawn smaller, bigger models

Land Rover promoted the Defender nameplate to one of its brand pillars; the others are Discovery and Range Rover. It's planning to build a full line of models around the born-again off-roader, including smaller crossovers.

Australian website Which Car learned the British firm is in the early stages of designing an aluminum-intensive platform it will use to underpin smaller models. One will borrow styling cues from the second-generation Defender (pictured) to take on the Jeep Renegade, a move which would push Land Rover further downmarket than it's been in many years. Another will slot in the Range Rover family, below the Evoque, as an alternative to the Audi Q2 sold overseas and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Sister company Jaguar might use the architecture, too.

Lexus Designers Create Lunar Rover Concepts

Lexus designers create lunar rover concepts

NASA is working to put human back on the moon by 2024, the idea being to use it as a way station for the eventual colonization of Mars. Since those humans won't want to moonwalk everywhere, they'll need new transportation — the battery-electric Lunar Rover the Apollo astronauts left up there probably won't start. Designers at the European Advanced Design Studio for Toyota and Lexus created a few potential, and yes, fanciful, craft for getting around our satellite for Document Journal magazine's The Lunar Design Portfolio. The artwork joins a collection of articles by culture critics, philosophers, architects, and more about the issues confronting humanity's return to the mistress of tides. Out of the seven concepts, the Lexus creation chosen to appear in the issue is Karl Dujardin's Zero Gravity, which turns the automaker's spindle grille into a single-seater moto-like hovercraft capable of doing 310 mph. The Bouncing Moon Roller by Julien Marie attaches a wheel-like stabilizer to a gyroscope cell protected by a flexible graphene nanotube bubble meant for hopping over the terrain, whereas the Lexus Lunar Cruiser by Keisuke Matsuno serves land and sky by having wheels that can flip out 90 degrees to serve as ducted fans powering a drone capsule. Jean-Baptiste Henry's Lexus Cosmos isn't for the surface at all, with a Lexus mothership and Moon Explorator capable of solar system travel. The glass construction of the observatory in the Moon Explorator allows "group experience contemplation [of] Zero G," and there's even a "space swimming pool." The Mothership awaits a role in the next installment of A Space Odyssey, a glossy habitat for whatever life forms succeed humans. Astronauts might be able to launch from the mothership in the Lexus Lunar Mission craft designed by Yung Presciutti, using wings shaped like spindle grilles. Because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy even in space, the Lexus Lunar is a 6x6 "massive transport vehicle designed to explore and discover the moon safely," meaning it can haul a few Moon Racers — both of which are also Presciutti's work —  a different kind of single-seater craft made to "jump, climb, race, and discover" the light and dark sides of the moon.

Toyota Will Spend 10 Years Perfecting Its Astronaut Moon Rover - Autoblog

Toyota will spend 10 years perfecting its astronaut moon rover - Autoblog

Japan has an ambitious plan to send men to the moon by 2030 as part of a multinational mission and is determined they'll have a ride when they get there. Japan's space agency JAXA and partner Toyota have revealed that the pressurized, manned lunar rover — announced earlier this year — should be ready to launch by 2029. The six-wheeled vehicle will carry two people up to 6,200 miles using solar power and fuel cell technology. At 20 feet long, 17 feet wide and 12 feet tall, it'll have 140 square feet of habitable space. Thanks to the pressurization, astronauts won't need spacesuits while inside. The timeline is pretty busy, and considering the challenges of developing tech for human space exploration, Toyota and JAXA will do well to meet their deadlines. The official plan runs for three years, up to 2022, with a tentative plan for a push toward launch between 2022 and 2029.

  • Fiscal year 2019: Identifying technological elements that need to be developed for driving on the surface of the moon; drawing up specifications for a prototype rover
  • Fiscal year 2020: Manufacturing test parts for each technological element; manufacturing a prototype rover
  • Fiscal year 2021: Testing and evaluating both the manufactured test parts and the prototype rover
  • From 2022: Manufacture and evaluation of a 1:1 scale prototype rover; acquisition and verification testing of data on driving systems required to explore the moon's polar regions
  • From 2024: Design, manufacture, and evaluation of an engineering model of the rover; design of the actual flight model
  • From 2027: Manufacture, and performance and quality testing of the flight model
At that point, the rover will be ready for a scheduled 2030 launch. In theory, it will arrive on the moon ahead of the human explorers and drive autonomously to meet them. JAXA wants to use it to help astronauts explore the lunar poles in search of frozen water, while at the same time developing tech that could be used on other planets. If the ambitious project works out, it'll give astronauts a cozy escape from the lunar desert's magnificent desolation.

The Suzuki Jimny Is The Classic Defender Homage Land Rover Should Be Building

The Suzuki Jimny is the classic Defender homage Land Rover should be building

Lake District, U.K. – The Land Rover Defender is to Brits what the F-150 is to Americans. Or rather it was, before it got too expensive and the farmers all switched to Japanese pick-ups. The Defender was effectively put out to pasture, relegated to being a lifestyle trinket. And Land Rover's endless prevarication over replacing the Defender can be partly attributed to this dilemma: Should it be in the original's mold, a fix-it-with-hammers rugged utility vehicle? Or should it concede that market and instead become a premium premium-priced Mercedes G-Class rival? Meanwhile, while Land Rover had dithered, others have capitalized – not least Suzuki's Jimny, which nails the seemingly conflicting demands of the new Defender's brief in one cute, pint-sized package

So too is the Jimny priced at a level buyers in markets where it is offered can chalk up as a discretionary purchase. Dating back to the early 1970s, the Jimny has a heritage of its own to draw upon. But this lo-fi remix of traditional 4x4 tech and functionally slick styling has scored a bullseye for both utility users and the hipster brigade, both of whom place great value in authenticity.

Toyota Will Be Making Japan's Moon Rover

Toyota Will Be Making Japan's Moon Rover

Toyota is one of the most widely known Japanese companies on the planet. As many of you are already aware, Toyota knows a thing or two about making vehicles. It has now teamed up with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency to build a pressurized self-driving rover for the moon. The rover will vastly improve astronauts’ ability to explore the lunar surface.

According to current plans, this Japanese moon rover is destined to land on the lunar surface in 2029. This six-wheeled vehicle will be able to transport two humans for a distance of about 10,000 kilometers using Toyota’s fuel cell technology and solar power.

Toyota Will Develop A Manned Fuel-cell Lunar Rover

Toyota will develop a manned fuel-cell lunar rover

TOKYO — Toyota and Japan's space agency said on Tuesday they had agreed to cooperate in developing a manned lunar rover that runs on fuel cell technologies. Although Japan has no plan currently to make a manned rocket that could send people into space, the rover could be a major contribution to an international space program in the future, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said. The rover "will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s," JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata told a symposium in Tokyo. "We aim to launch such a rover into space in 2029." The rover is still in the conceptual stage, but an illustration in the news release showed a six-wheel vehicle that somewhat resembled an armored personnel carrier. A spokesman for Toyota, which plans to ramp up fuel-cell cars as a zero-emission alternative to gasoline vehicles, said the project would give the company a chance to test its technologies in the moon's harsh environment and improve them. Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi stressed the excitement that comes with taking part in a space project. "As an engineer, there is no greater joy than being able to participate in a lunar project by way of Toyota's car-making," Terashi told the symposium. "Being allowed to be a member of 'Team Japan,' we would like to take up the challenge of space."

Jaguar And Land Rover Will Soon Offer Android Auto And Carplay

Jaguar And Land Rover Will Soon Offer Android Auto And CarPlay

Jaguar And Land Rover are embracing the two major in-car mobile OS-based infotainment platforms. They have confirmed that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will soon be offered in both new and existing vehicles for customers in the United States. A spokesperson for the brands has confirmed that this will be the case from the 2019 model year going forward.

Land Rover Drew A Giant Defender In The Snow Atop French Alps

Land Rover Drew A Giant Defender In The Snow Atop French AlpsOver 70 years ago, an engineer quite literally drew a line in the sand. That’s how the original Land Rover was first designed. And in the seven decades since, the models that have followed have traversed every manner of terrain on earth. So to celebrate its achievements, Land Rover drew a much bigger one – this time on top of a mountain some 9,000 feet above sea level.