The 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has been host to some of interesting reveals, but possibly one of the most eye-catching is this, the Toyota FT-1 Concept, a sports car concept which could preview what may be a successor to the legendary Toyota Supra. It even remains true to the front-engine, rear-wheel drive setup that made all Toyota sports cars so great.
Designed in America by Calty Design Research, the same people who designed the Mk4 Supra, the FT-1 (short for “Future Toyota 1”) took design inspiration from historic Toyota sports cars, such as the Supra, 2000 GT and Celica. The entire design was built around a key brief from Akio Toyoda when he challenged Calty to create a car that makes people say, “I want this…I HAVE to drive this!” We think they’ve succeeded!
The exterior design features a racy appeal, including a retractable rear wing, sharp lines, aerodynamic curves, and dynamic air intakes, including turbine-style intakes in the front bumper design. The design also incorporates a long front end, which designers claim harked back to the iconic inline-6 Toyota sports cars. It is important to note though that there is no engine specification for the FT-1, but that the designers merely referenced an inline-6 engine as the heritage was prominent from models such as the 2000 GT and the Supra.
The FT-1’s interior design is said to be ergonomic, but looks a bit too futuristic. The bucket seats are padded only where necessary, and the design is all a little too space-shippy. The instrument cluster and steering wheel however could make it into future production models – if Toyota greenlights production of the FT-1 – and features interesting elements including a display at the top that shows information regarding current gears, speeds etc.
It is important to note that this is only a concept, and there is no confirmation on whether or not Toyota intend on producing the FT-1. There are also no engine specifications. However, considering the recent Toyota/BMW partnership, and rumoured supercar ideas coming from within that partnership, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to imagine a BMW twin-turbo inline 6 engine developing 300kW+, much like the one in the new M3 and M4, powering the FT-1.
Toyota, we approve. But do us a favour and smooth out that nose a bit, the proboscis monkey nose just doesn’t work for us.