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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Calty's 50-Year Legacy: Unveiling Toyota's Hidden Concept Cars

Did U Know - In October 2023, Toyota's iconic California design studio, Calty, will mark a significant milestone as it turns 50 years old. FYI, Calty, named after California and Toyota, pioneered the first U.S.-based design studio for a Japanese automaker. It operated discreetly in El Segundo and later Newport Beach, offering designers the freedom to dream without constraints from cost-focused executives in Japan.
Celebrating 50th Anniversary of the Toyota California Design Center, this is a portrait of 6 Toyota concept cars that never debuted. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
To celebrate this remarkable achievement, Calty has unveiled the portraits of six Toyota concept cars, all of which have never before been showcased to the public.  While these concepts never made it into production, some of their groundbreaking designs have influenced other Toyota models over the years.

1. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 (Concept)
This scaled-down model represents one of the earliest design proposals for the renowned Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40. Regrettably, this concept remained a dream and was never brought to life. 
The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 Concept shown as a 1/5 scale model posed along with Toyota's then-president, Eiji Toyoda, it hints at a future where SUVs would be all the rage. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
The FJ40 made its debut during the 1960s, boasting both hardtop and soft-top versions. A notable difference from these concept version lies in the hood's shape and rear window design. 
Toyota capped off its Calty celebration with the reveal of this Baby Lunar Cruiser, a Land Cruiser of the future inspired by the classic FJ40. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
In modern times, the design continues to be developed until it becomes the following future concept, called the Toyota Baby Lunar Cruiser.

2. Toyota MX-1
In the 1980s, Calty embarked on a journey to explore novel design languages and techniques for the Toyota vehicle lineup. The result of this experimental phase was the Toyota MX-1
The Toyota MX-1 Concept was built by Calty as a full-scale model with scissor doors and a glass-intensive cockpit that looks strikingly similar to the first-generation NSX. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
Although it never entered mass production, the MX-1 sported a futuristic sports car design, which was built as a full-scale model characterized by its distinctive scissor doors. In 1989, Calty introduced the Celica, followed by the Previa in 1990, both drawing inspiration from the distinctive design of the MX-1.

3. Toyota MX-2
Following the MX-1, Calty introduced its successor, the Toyota MX-2 dates back to 1983. The MX-2 sportscar featured gull-wing style doors and more defined body lines compared to its predecessor. 
The Toyota MX-2 Concept looks pure 1990s supercar concept, with curving lines, forward-hinged gullwing doors, and a liftable rear canopy. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
This car served as a precursor to the later-produced MR2, boasting a modern futuristic design and a rear canopy that could be opened.

4. Toyota Supra (Concept)
Before the iconic Supra design made its way into production, Calty had its vision of the sportscar.  Many of the design concepts from this concept model influenced the production version of the Supra.
It's also not hard to see elements of the current Supra in Calty's 1990s take on what the fourth-generation Supra might have looked like. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
The Toyota Supra concept was crafted in 1990, just prior to the mass production of the fourth-generation Supra.

5. Toyota Caravan
Designed by a team in the United States in 1975, the Toyota Caravan is distinct from a campervan as it stands alone, detached from the car. 
Designed by a team in the United States in 1975, the Toyota Caravan is distinct from a campervan as it stands alone, detached from the car. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
Much like a campervan, it offers numerous home-like amenities, including a toilet, air conditioning, and even a shower for bathing. Due to its substantial dimensions, only select vehicles have the capability to tow this caravan.

6. Toyota Scion NYC
The Toyota Scion NYC, although never brought to production, stands out with its unique and foreign appearance, sporting a distinctive green color and a low front hood. 
The Toyota Scion NYC city car concept features a distinctive green color and a low-profile front hood, giving it a unique and unconventional appearance. (Picture from: CarAndDriver)
Toyota classifies the Scion NYC as an urban or city car, designed for everyday practicality due to its sleek, compact sizes, which is also packed with hybrid drive.
Calty's 50-year legacy of design excellence is exemplified in these remarkable concept cars, which continue to inspire and influence the evolution of Toyota's vehicle lineup. While these concepts may never have graced the production line, their innovative designs and forward-thinking ideas have left an indelible mark on the world of automotive design. As we celebrate Calty's half-century of creativity, we eagerly anticipate the future innovations that will shape the next generation of Toyota vehicles. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARANDRIVER | TRENOTO ]
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