Toyota officially unveiled its hotly anticipated FT-1 sports car concept Monday at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. This front engine, rear-wheel-drive concept car represents a pinnacle of sorts in Toyota USA's recent shift back to a bolder and more sporty brand image that started with Scion, progressed with the FR-S/FT-86 sports car, and is culminating in the FT-1. This car is widely thought to be the successor to the legendary Supra, and builds upon Toyota's rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the Sports-800, 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2, and FR-S.
Designed by Calty Design Research, the team responsible for the FT-HS and Lexus LF-LC concepts, the car was first created in SonyPlaystation's Gran Turismo 6 game environment before making its way to the stage in Detroit. According to Alex Shen, Calty's Studio Chief Designer, "[The FT-1] is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe." Sounds great to us!
The FT-1 is part of Toyota's "Vibrant Clarity" design ethos of exciting and dramatic design expression, giving direction to future products that better connect emotionally with today's modern consumer. Recently, Akio Toyoda stated his mission of infusing energy, passion, and excitement into Toyota products, and this concept car definitely shows all that.
We'll let the pictures do the talking regarding the exterior design, although we do want to point out the rearward location of the cockpit and the awesome wraparound windshield and side glass openings, reminiscent of the Toyota 2000GT. The interior, on the other hand, features a Formula-1 inspired steering wheel, a minimalist design, and a color heads-up display. Unfortunately, no technical specifications were released, but we assume the engine and drivetrain will be a high performance engine that matches the stunning design.
According to Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter, "[the] FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota Global Design. This provocative concept truly captures the passion, excitement, and energy of the Toyota we are evolving into and embodies the elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs."
While the FT-1 is a concept vehicle, we are hoping a lot of the concept's features you see today will make it to the eventual production version. Everyone here at Wellesley Toyota is anxiously awaiting more details about when we'll see a production version of this car and when it will make it to our showroom. If you can't wait, Calty Design Research and Toyota worked with Polyphony Digital to add the concept to Gran Turismo 6, and will be available to download on Jan 14th. If you have Gran Turismo 6 and are able to downlaod the FT-1, let us know how it is in the comments below!
In the meantime, feel free to check out the images and videos below and visit our Boston Area Toyota and Scion dealership to explore our fantastic lineup of Toyota vehicles, including the Scion FR-S.