By Robert Nichols
At this year’s Montreal International Autoshow, guests had the chance to lay eyes on the Toyota FT-1. This concept car represents Toyota’s intention to return to the high performance sports car segment. Fans of the Scion BR-Z don’t be upset. The BR-Z is nice, but it is a bit low on power and not very pretty. I have driven the BR-Z and it is a blast, but I knew Toyota could do more.
The FT-1 is a striking front engine rear-wheel drive 2 door sports coupe. It was designed with classic sports car dimensions; a long hood, low stance and an exciting body with curves and ducts in all the right places.
Toyota promises the interior will be just as nice, with premium leathers and a high end feel. But if you look at the pictures the interior looks stark, barren and in no way luxurious. It reminds me in some respects of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, in that everything has been removed to lose weight. And I am ok with that. Perhaps this car is not meant to be a commuter; it is a track focused thrill machine. The exposed bits of shell only serve to enhance the fantasy of piloting a Formula-1 car.
We must bear in mind that these images are of a pre-production concept, so who knows what the interior will eventually be. All we can say for sure is it will be driver focused.
“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.”
For the gamers out there, Calto design studio, the ones responsible for this compelling car design, will be providing a virtual version of the FT-1 as a download for the game Gran Turismo 6.
The Toyota FT-1 will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with should it ever make it to production. Now, we should all write letters to Toyota begging them to do just that.