Toyota FT-1, a sports car inspired by past classic Toyotas such as the Supra, has been unveiled at the Detroit motor show. The vehicle marks the start in the new chapter of Toyota design philosophy that will result in more passionate, exciting vehicles.
The car is described by its
maker as "a true enthusiast's track car in the lineage of the 2000GT and
Supra". The name FT-1 stands for 'Future Toyota', with the number one
representing "the ultimate world-class sports car with the ultimate
Although Toyota won't be drawn on technical
specifics of the FT-1, company sources did confirm that it has a
combustion engine only, with no hybrid system. Performance from the
engine is described as "high output".
The FT-1's front
engine/rear-wheel drive configuration allows the cockpit to sit further
towards the rear of the car, within the wheelbase, helping to improve
weight distribution and creating classic sports car proportions. The
wraparound windscreen and side glass arrangement are a clear nod to the
design of the original 2000GT.
The cockpit is described as a
"delta-shaped display zone. This helps to make the driver feel at the
heart of the action, fully connected to the car". It features a Formula
1-inspired steering wheel and a colour head-up display that projects key
information just above the wheel.
The FT-1 was conceived at
Toyota's Calty design research centre in California. Calty president
Kevin Hunter said the philosophy behind the car marked a radical change
in the way Toyota's products are designed. "Not long ago [Toyota boss]
Akio Toyoda challenged his designers to create cars that sparked
people's emotions," he said. "Cars that make them say, 'I want this, I
have to have this'. His message has always been very simple: make it
cool. Toyota's designers are absolutely passionate about designing cool
cars. Our goal at Calty was to answer that challenge by creating a truly
exciting, high-performance halo sports car.
"Beyond its obvious
visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota global
design. This concept truly captures the passion, excitement and energy
of the Toyota we are evolving into. It embodies elements of the emotion
and performance that we will imprint upon future production designs.
many years Toyota has approached product development relying on a
strong influence from the market through consumer studies and a degree
of internal consensus. The goal was to produce a vehicle that was liked
by everyone. As a result, we took less risk and tried not to stray too
far from designs that had been a success.
"Now Toyota's design
efforts are less reliant on consensus. We have empowered our designers
and engineers to make a creative and passionate vision of future
mobility. The goal is simple yet profound: develop future generations of
products that connect on an emotional level. As a result of this new
global commitment, we expect to develop the most capable, exciting
generation of vehicles the company has ever produced."
source told Autocar that the FT-1 is not part of the Japanese
manufacturer's collaboration with BMW; that tie-up is for hybrid sports
car projects only.
The Toyota FT-1 will be added as a download to
Gran Turismo 6 from tomorrow. Company chief Akio Toyoda's first-ever
look at the FT-1 was via the virtual version in the computer game.
Thanks to: Autocar