New Design Draws Upon Toyota’s History

From Virtual Reality to Reality The Toyota FT-1 Concept

Toyota blew the world away this January in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show with the debut of their FT-1 Concept Sportscar. The car, designed by Calty Design Research, was derived using virtual testing in the Sony Playstation Gran Turismo game environment.

The “FT” stands for future, and “1” for the ultimate – truly the name says it all. This is a vehicle driving the future of Toyota, and while it was created in an innovative digital landscape it still drew inspiration from the brand’s past. The design was inspired by historic Toyota sports cars, such as the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and Scion’s FR-S as well as by other Calty concept designs, such as the Toyota FT-HS (of 2007) and the Lexus LF-LC (of 2012.)

“The FT-1 is a dream-project for a designer and car enthusiast like myself,” commented 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.” Over two years of hard work, truly a labor of love, have paid off.

The Toyota FT-1 Concept was entirely developed around the driver’s experience and presence behind the wheel to provide “Waku-Doki” (translation: a palpable heart-pumping sense of excitement.) The low cockpit and a pillar placement are optimized for cornering and hugging the track and visibility. The minimalist approach to the intimate cabin reflects the overall lightweight design, with just enough comfort for the driver without adding too much weight to the body, including a transparent glass hood, balanced front engine and rear-wheel drive. A beautiful full-colour heads up display shows vital information to the driver in their line of sight to keep focus on the road and the thrilling experience of the ride.

The body has a futuristic curvature and muscular stance, bringing a whole new era of style and vitality to Toyota’s design. “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.”

Neal Gratton

Gateway Toyota Scion


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