Toyota FT-1 Concept unleashed in Detroit [video]

Powered by a gasoline engine

Toyota has unveiled the FT-1 concept on the inaugural day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The stunning FT-1 (Future Toyota 1) is a follow-up to other concepts such as the FT-HS from 2007 and the Lexus LF-LC from 2012. Work on the project started two years ago and was conducted by the Calty design team who came up with a front-engined rear-wheel drive coupe to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Sending a bit of a TVR Sagaris vibe, the Toyota FT-1 concept has a wraparound windshield and 2000GT-inspired side glass openings while inside there’s an F1-like steering wheel. It appears to have one of the most aggressive designs from Toyota and looks like a GT-86 on a heavy dose of steroids with a muscular body.

The creators mention cornering vision and sensation were improved by moving the A-pillars far back. Its minimalistic cockpit features a delta-shaped display area and there’s also a color heads-up display to keep the driver focused on the road up ahead.

Technical details have not been provided but Toyota mentions the FT-1 concept “represents an ideally balanced front-engine, rear wheel-drive layout that is powered by a high-technology, high performance internal combustion engine”. Sometime in the future this interesting concept could serve as the basis for a long-rumored Supra revival.

The concept will be offered in virutal form as downloadable content for Gran Turismo 6.

Visit the press release area for further details.

Source: Toyota

Toyota virtually blew the doors off the North American International Auto Show with the reveal of the stunning FT-1 sports car concept. First devised by Calty Design Research in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment, FT-1 leapt from the screen to the stage in a race-inspired press conference at COBO Hall.

The name says it all. FT-1 stands for “Future Toyota,” and the number “1” represents the ultimate. According to its designers at Calty Design Research, the FT-1 Concept is the ultimate expression of a Toyota coupe design, building upon Toyota’s rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently Scion FR-S. In addition, the concept draws inspiration from Calty’s more recent sports car concept work such as FT-HS (2007) and the Lexus LF-LC (2012).

The project started nearly two years ago and represents a labor of love by a passionate, dedicated and gifted Calty design team. “The FT-1 is a dream-project for a designer and car enthusiast like myself,” said Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer. “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra, and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe.”

The FT-1’s audacious design represents the pinnacle of Calty’s 40th year of operation. Guided by the Toyota design ethos of Vibrant Clarity, a unique fusion of both emotional and rational factors that delivers a more exciting and dramatic design expression with unique Toyota identity, the concept is a spiritual pace car for Toyota Global Design. The goal of this ideological shift is to develop future generations of products that better connect emotionally with Toyota’s global consumer base.

Traditionally, Toyota’s design decisions have been driven by consensus among a large group of stakeholders. Under Akio Toyoda’s stated directive to invigorate Toyota products with energy, passion and “Waku-Doki” (translation: a palpable heart-pounding sense of excitement), the approval process has been streamlined. This new approach aims to produce cars that connect more deeply with customers, generating a more satisfying ownership experience that complements Toyota’s legendary reputation for quality, dependability and reliability.

“Function-sculpting” design language yields curved, muscular, expressive body forms seemingly shaped by the wind. Inlets, ducting, and vents are features of the exterior design that help reinforce its track–ready nature with elements of purposeful airflow management. At higher speeds a retractable rear wing deploys and tilts forward to create additional downforce. The body’s athleticism is expressed with taut surfaces and dramatic fender forms that seduce the eyes when covered in an unapologetically red hue.

The front engine rear-wheel drive configuration locates the cockpit far rearward within the wheelbase to improve weight distribution. This design element also helps create the classic sportscar proportions one would expect from a vehicle poised to dominate even the most challenging road course. The cockpit’s wraparound windshield and side glass openings are a distinct nod to the design of the legendary Toyota 2000GT.

The interior is a focused, highly functional “place of business” that locates the driver at the controls behind an F1 inspired steering-wheel. The intimate, low slung cockpit has its A-pillars set far back to help optimize cornering vision and sensation of the cabin’s intimacy. A delta-shaped display zone surrounds and integrates the driver to provide an exhilarating sense of being connected to the vehicle. The cockpit’s sense of minimalism adds to the purposefulness of the driver-focused environment with an emphasis on light weight components such as the composite seat covered with just the right amount of padding in only the areas that come into contact with the driver. A color heads-up display keeps the driver’s attention on the road ahead, with vital information projected just above the steering wheel within the driver’s line of sight.

While technical specifications do not accompany the concept, one can assume that the FT-1 represents an ideally balanced front-engine, rear wheel-drive layout that is powered by a high-technology, high performance internal combustion engine. Beneath a transparent glass hood, an ambiguous engine cover hides a powerplant left to the imagination of the onlooker.

In preparation for pitching the concept to Toyota management, Calty worked with Polyphony Digital, creators of the popular Gran Turismo driving simulator, to bring FT-1 to life in a virtual world that captured the excitement, passion and performance conveyed by the concept model. Toyota executives were offered the opportunity to take FT-1 for a timed lap around a computer-generated Fuji Speedway. Behind the wheel of the concept, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, an accomplished race car driver, completed the virtual circuit faster than his best real-world lap time at Fuji in his LFA. From that moment, he was convinced and the concept was approved to be built in model-form for the international auto show circuit.

For Toyota, this concept embodies the possibilities of the new and exciting design mission ahead. “Sports cars represent the ultimate driving expression in its purest form. As car enthusiasts ourselves, this is the kind of project we dream about working on,” said Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter. “Beyond its obvious five-alarm visual impact, 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 elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs.”

Add comment

subscribe to comments
comment rules Add comment

Comments (35)

bojanb bojanb
Stunning !!! Best concept of 2014 NAIAS by far. I'd say this might be a Toyotas first with BMW power-train...Inline six and 7 speed dual clutch transmission? What do you guys think? Like the ones from a new M3/M4?
Jan 15th, 2014 11:53pm
3 1
KayGeeOh KayGeeOh
You sir, are a genius. I didnt even think about the BMW engines.
Jan 16th, 2014 3:07pm
2 2
RaulLeal RaulLeal
Toyota speaker person already said this is not the Toyota-BMW joint venture. period. this concept is way better than that... most likely ate the level of the Lexus RC-F or even LFA...
Jan 16th, 2014 4:37pm
0 1
Bozzor Bozzor
Toyota, please don't be like Subaru - a mouth watering WRX concept blanded out into oblivion for the production version. Toyota does have some real car guys...just don't give into short sighted bean counters who underestimate what demand will be like.
Jan 15th, 2014 3:12am
1 1
techie69 techie69
I heard enough great stuff from JDM party favorites Nissan with its GT-R and Toyota with the upcoming Supra, where is Mazda to this sports car gala?!
Jan 14th, 2014 6:16pm
2 0
RaulLeal RaulLeal
what I like the most is that Toyota concepts don't follow a current brand design language (as others makers do...). they are made in a unique way. they could make this car following the design language of the Auris/Corolla or Avensis, RAV4, etc...the even don't follow the GT-86 lines! the only link with the past is some clues of the previous concept FT-HS, that's it. it is truly a unique car... that will Toyota do, that will do...:D
Jan 14th, 2014 11:23am
1 0
Renyeo Renyeo
Stylistically, FT-1 is way more interesting than a Lexus RC-F
Jan 14th, 2014 8:41am
8 0
RaulLeal RaulLeal
it may be, but this is purely a concept, the RC-F is a final version...the design orientation is different between a every day car and a concept. I think that each one is awesome!
Jan 15th, 2014 11:27am
0 0
jerry05cod4 jerry05cod4
looks phenomenal, inside and outside
Jan 14th, 2014 4:16am
5 0
jerry05cod4 jerry05cod4
looks phenomenal
Jan 14th, 2014 4:16am
4 0
w0bble w0bble
really toyota is doin the F! nose?i thought that fad died with the SLR and SLK
Jan 14th, 2014 12:58am
3 3
techie69 techie69
Never will die, its like making a conclusion on Porsche:"Really you are making that same body style of a flattened Beetle, again!"
Jan 14th, 2014 6:07pm
3 2
w0bble w0bble
That is you want to compare a cars overall design with a design feature u could even say well here is another audi with a single frame grill The F1 seemed to be a short lived trend that I hoped was long gone its a shame the car would look much better without it if u ask me
Jan 14th, 2014 8:22pm
0 2
Marco Svelte Marco Svelte
I am just glad the word "hybrid" is anywhere to be found! Kudos to Toyota for that! A true Supra successor shouldn't be a hybrid!
Jan 14th, 2014 12:44am
5 0
DBaskov DBaskov
Wow, I'm really impressed by this concept. Loving it, looks amazing! It looks like it might have a bit of influence from LF-LC concept (which is also stunning); on a side and back. A bit of influence from the FT-HS concept on the front (minus the ugly). And some crazy curves similar to TVR and Italians. Hopefully the production version of this will be greenlighted and it won't be too watered down.
Jan 13th, 2014 11:28pm
4 1
kayutr90 kayutr90
wow this is too good; TOYOTA PLEASE MAKE THIS THE NEW SUPRA...please
Jan 13th, 2014 10:02pm
7 4
SirLukkas SirLukkas
Surely I can't be the only one who thinks that the front-end is hideous.
Jan 13th, 2014 9:10pm
7 6
Flyologist Flyologist
outrageous sexiness Toyota should revive the 2000gt badge for this one cause the supra has nothing on this sexy beast, and comparing it to the vette or the viper is laughable America is light years away from coming up with something close to this Kudos to Toyota and they MUST build this
Jan 13th, 2014 9:06pm
4 5
trapezius trapezius
Light years away in terms of what? I hope you mean design, because in terms of performance, corvette and viper have been paving the way for the past 2 decades, while the Japanese went into hibernation in the high performance category, and only just woke up with the GTR and the LFA, and the latter doesn't really count, because it was extremely expensive and extremely limited. I was a big fan of the supra, NSX, Rx7, 300zx, and 3000gt vr4 in the 90s, and was extremely saddened when they all disappeared one by one.
Jan 15th, 2014 4:56am
2 2
techie69 techie69
There is nothing performance tech in the Corvette or Viper other than displacement and that forced induction. If it weren't for Honda/Toyota, your aforementioned cars engines across the board would still be behind times GM/Chrysler had implemented 4valves per cylinder or variable-valve! The Corvettes engine in terms of tech is still in the stoneage, their mods are simpleton and driving such cars require great driving skills which 90% of the clientele don't have, so they are not put thru its paces! Only well trained auto journalists will hail those cars because of their above average driving training since by nature they are unwieldy, imprecise, and simpleton in their set-up. I also don't see European journalist raving their fun factor such as neutral journalist like Chris Harris! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrhW6W7eZDI
Jan 15th, 2014 7:56am
2 2
Oh ma gawd, this gets me excited for the new Supra.
Jan 13th, 2014 8:58pm
5 4
techie69 techie69
F1 beautiful with the FT-HS concept mixed with GT-86, but the rear end reminds of the last RX-7.
Jan 13th, 2014 11:41pm
1 0
Swifty Swifty
WOOOOOOOOOOWWW so much of Supra heritage is in this concept! Toyota would do a damage if they don't build it!
Jan 13th, 2014 8:22pm
6 4
OxCRacing OxCRacing
Stunning design. From the side, reminds a lot a Supra.
Jan 13th, 2014 8:11pm
5 4
tomi.ro tomi.ro
W000t the f*ck is this Batmobile "on it's period"..Batwoman's car of the 1990s
Jan 13th, 2014 7:18pm
7 10
tomi.ro tomi.ro
Jan 13th, 2014 11:50pm
0 2
RaulLeal RaulLeal
the more I look the more I think this should, no!MUST be the Toyota version of the Lexus LFA... it simply has an beefy design that only combines in my mind with that gorgeous V10 of the Lexus....
Jan 13th, 2014 6:21pm
3 2
RaulLeal RaulLeal
although I couldn't resist to say that in some ways it look like a Toyota version of a Corvette+Viper...
Jan 13th, 2014 6:17pm
6 0
RaulLeal RaulLeal
great looking concept, stunning lines! maybe the best surprise in de NAIAS this year... tank good there wasn't any teaser!
Jan 13th, 2014 6:16pm
5 2
Beautiful concept. I hope they will carry this through, with as little changes as possible, to production. While their family cars are still (imo)quite boring (although reliable), I'm enjoying the resurgence in design b/w this and the FT-86.
Jan 13th, 2014 5:34pm
5 2