With its smooth, fluid lines and LED headlights, the Toyota FT-1 Concept looks like it belongs in a futuristic movie set in the year 3,000. But here it is, 2014, and Toyota has unveiled its newest concept car, the Toyota FT-1 (Future Toyota-One).
“Sports cars represent the ultimate driving expression in its purest form” – Kevin Hunter, Calty Design Research President
Alex Shen, Chief Designer at Toyota’s Calty Design Research, is the driving force behind the design of the FT-1. He did away with the usual three key line design seen in most cars – roofline, beltline and fender line. Instead, he replaced the tired old design and went for a more modern form of fluid contours. “It’s all about highlights,” says Shen.
Racing in its DNA
“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.” – Alex Shen, Chief Designer
With its aerodynamic design, racing inspired interior and head-up displays usually reserved for fighter jets, the FT-1 was made specifically for driving fast – really fast.
During preliminary research, designers experienced race-driving school and fighter jet simulations. They learned where to place all the important functions for drivers traveling at top speeds, where looking down for half a second could result in dire consequences.
Toyota calls this real-life research process genchi genbutsu, which means “go and see”.
Under the Hood
Since the FT-1 is still in the early stages of development, there’s no real answer to what’s under the hood – only educated guesses.
According to Toyota, “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.”
So what’s really under that clear engine cover is up to your imagination, although we may find out for sure sooner than we think.
Is the Toyota FT-1 the 2016 Toyota Supra?
When it made it’s debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, there was immediate speculation that the FT-1 would eventually become the all-new Toyota Supra. The Supra, which stopped being manufactured in 2002, has always had a large following of enthusiasts who have been clamoring for the nameplate to return to the Toyota lineup.
TFLcar.com is reporting that Toyota will show off the 2016 Toyota Supra will make it’s debut later this month at the 2014 New York Auto Show. This early version of the Supra will be a refined prototype of the FT-1 concept and feature a full interior and reveal the powertrain.
Expect the highly anticipated return of the Supra to be powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 with a new version of an all wheel drive system. There will be a rear-mounted 7-speed DSG transaxle to melt the rear tires, and a separate power transfer unit ahead of the engine to send partial power to the front.
About LaFontaine Toyota
If you’re in the market for a new Toyota or a used Toyota, stop on by LaFontaine Toyota, the premier dealership of southeast Michigan. We’re located at 2027 S. Telegraph Rd. Dearborn, MI, 48124. Click to find our directions and store hours. For more information give us a call at (877) 887-9617.