Automotive

Toyota previews some future aggression with the FT-1 concept

Toyota previews some future ag...
The Toyota FT-1 premieres at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
The Toyota FT-1 premieres at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
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The FT-1 is covered in functional inlets, ducts and vents
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The FT-1 is covered in functional inlets, ducts and vents
Toyota FT-1 NAIAS press event
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Toyota FT-1 NAIAS press event
Toyota didn't give any engine specs, but it teases onlookers with a transparent engine panel
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Toyota didn't give any engine specs, but it teases onlookers with a transparent engine panel
The Toyota FT-1 concepts was one of the stars of the Detroit auto show
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The Toyota FT-1 concepts was one of the stars of the Detroit auto show
The FT-1 has all kinds of interesting visual elements, including a double-bubble roof, muscular fenders and tailpipe cylinder
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The FT-1 has all kinds of interesting visual elements, including a double-bubble roof, muscular fenders and tailpipe cylinder
The taillamp ducts are like a more pronounced version of those on the Chevy Corvette Stingray
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The taillamp ducts are like a more pronounced version of those on the Chevy Corvette Stingray
The FT-1 represents the "ultimate" expression of Toyota sports coupe
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The FT-1 represents the "ultimate" expression of Toyota sports coupe
The interior is designed to connect the driver to the road
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The interior is designed to connect the driver to the road
The FT-1 ups downforce with a retractable rear wing
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The FT-1 ups downforce with a retractable rear wing
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The FT-1 uses an F1-inspired steering wheel
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The FT-1 uses an F1-inspired steering wheel
The Toyota FT-1 premieres at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
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The Toyota FT-1 premieres at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
The Toyota FT-1 premieres at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
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The Toyota FT-1 premieres at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
A transparent engine panel, defined front nose, large intakes and double-bubble roof combine to give the FT-1 a very distinct look
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A transparent engine panel, defined front nose, large intakes and double-bubble roof combine to give the FT-1 a very distinct look
The FT-1 has plenty of solutions for air flow
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The FT-1 has plenty of solutions for air flow
The FT-1 is a product of Toyota's Calty Design Research studio
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The FT-1 is a product of Toyota's Calty Design Research studio
The FT-1 snacks on some asphalt
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The FT-1 snacks on some asphalt
The FT-1 snacks on some asphalt
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The FT-1 snacks on some asphalt
There doesn't appear to be an angle of the FT-1 that isn't dominated by ducts and vents
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There doesn't appear to be an angle of the FT-1 that isn't dominated by ducts and vents
The 2014 Toyota FT-1 concept car
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The 2014 Toyota FT-1 concept car
Toyota sought to increase cornering visibility with the A pillar design
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Toyota sought to increase cornering visibility with the A pillar design
FT stands "Future Toyota," and the 1 designates the "ultimate"
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FT stands "Future Toyota," and the 1 designates the "ultimate"
Toyota pushed the cabin back and carved and sculpted the flank to give the FT-1 a memorable profile
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Toyota pushed the cabin back and carved and sculpted the flank to give the FT-1 a memorable profile
A sketch of the Toyota FT-1
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A sketch of the Toyota FT-1
The FT-1 employs a rather dramatic diffuser and tailpipe design
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The FT-1 employs a rather dramatic diffuser and tailpipe design
The Toyota FT-1 could be the start of a new Toyota sports car
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The Toyota FT-1 could be the start of a new Toyota sports car
The FT-1 is a front-engine, RWD sports car concept
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The FT-1 is a front-engine, RWD sports car concept
Toyota FT-1
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Toyota FT-1
Toyota FT-1
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Toyota FT-1
Toyota FT-1
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Toyota FT-1
A look at the FT-1's heads-up display
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A look at the FT-1's heads-up display
A look at the FT-1's heads-up display
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A look at the FT-1's heads-up display
The FT-1 may not be available to buy, but it's available for virtual driving on Gran Turismo 6
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The FT-1 may not be available to buy, but it's available for virtual driving on Gran Turismo 6

Easily one of the wildest concept cars at the North American International Auto Show, the Toyota FT-1 bridges Toyota's sporty past with what the company promises will be a daring and aggressive future. The "spiritual pace car for a changing, evolving Toyota" previews what Toyota hopes is its most exciting generation of vehicles ever. Put simply, the FT-1 is the Future of Toyota, example Number 1.

The FT-1 looks like a wild concept piece created solely for a dramatic overnight spike in company buzz. The type of concept car that disappears a couple months after its debut without a modicum of impact on production. However, straight from Toyota, the FT-1 is a more substantial concept car, a first look at its design future. It's a future that reflects Akio Toyoda's directive for high-energy, emotional vehicles that make drivers scream out "I want this!" A move away from safe, survey-approved car designs and toward riskier, more impactful vehicles.

The FT-1 has all kinds of interesting visual elements, including a double-bubble roof, muscular fenders and tailpipe cylinder
The FT-1 has all kinds of interesting visual elements, including a double-bubble roof, muscular fenders and tailpipe cylinder

"Beyond its obvious five-alarm visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota Global Design," explains Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter. "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."

The concept previews the future but draws heavily on the past, pulling inspiration from sports cars like the 2000GT, Celica and Supra. The radical styling is also based heavily on the not-so-radical strategy of "Function-Sculpting." Elements like the beaky, Enzo-lite front-end and raised wing may seem rooted in visual impact, but they're actually more about functionality. The various carves and cuts are built to "manage dirty air" and deliver cooling to the mechanicals behind the cavernous body. The retractable rear wing deploys and tilts forward at high speeds, cranking up downforce.

The FT-1 uses an F1-inspired steering wheel
The FT-1 uses an F1-inspired steering wheel

Inside, the functional sculpting takes on a lightweight form. Toyota saves on weight and materials by using just enough padding in the areas most likely to come into contact with the driver and passenger.

The driver-centric "slingshot" cabin is as sporty as the exterior, designed to be the place where serious driving business gets done. A jet-inspired, color heads-up display shoots information straight ahead, keeping the driver informed but fully focused on the road ahead. Steering wheel-mounted controls prevent the hands from being distracted from the primary duty of keeping the car planted squarely on the road or track.

Toyota didn't design the FT-1 with a specific engine in mind, but it's clear about the car being a rear-wheel drive powered by an internal combustion engine. The concept includes a glass-paneled hood designed to give onlookers a glimpse at the powerplant below.

The FT-1 may not be available to buy, but it's available for virtual driving on Gran Turismo 6
The FT-1 may not be available to buy, but it's available for virtual driving on Gran Turismo 6

Some media reports suggest that the FT-1 design may preview more than just general design language, possibly showing a rough look at an eventual Supra successor. Toyota remains mum on that prospect, but it will offer sports car enthusiasts the chance to track-test the FT-1 concept car ... by way of a driving simulator in the Gran Turismo 6 video game. Akio Toyoda was one of the first to try the simulation, and he beat his best real-life Lexus LFA lap time on the Fuji Speedway. GT6 owners can now download the concept car themselves.

Source: Toyota

13 comments
owlbeyou
In the past decade, car companies unashamedly have taken to copying each others' successful design elements more than ever. The Japanese have done this copycat styling longer than anyone, and this exercise from Toyota has Italian written all over it. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Perhaps. It's all about profit margins, really. Much about car design today is overdone. They should restrain themselves more, because one of the golden rules in art is; it's always better to underplay than to overdo.
Sheldon Cooper
This looks like something a teenage boy would doodle - all scoops and vents most of which are completely unnecessary, I'm surprised there are no fake rocket launchers. If you need a lesson in tasteful design look at a McLaren or Aston Martin: "less is more".
Jimbo Jones
I like it all overdone, show some imagination. Unfortunately imagination is not involved here.
Lewis M. Dickens III
Looks to me like we have entered the age of hideous Hollywood mad max bullcrap.
jayedwin98020
It would appear the designers of Toyota's FT-1 were trying way to hard. It seems they could not figure out when enough, is actual enough! Their end results takes on an almost "cartoonistic" character. Like something you might see manufactured as a "Hot Wheels" toy. What ever happened to using a bit of sophistication in their overall design concept?
Lovelace Edouard Philippe
Speed Racer
Derrick Chen
It's a good start but not enough toyota design team, first of all, you have the back automatic downforce wing, but where is the automatic front downforce wing. Second, why rear drive instead go 4 wheel drive. Third, why only sports car instead it should be sports car, seden van, truck, and van. Lastly, instead of traditional out dated engine tech with abounch sensors, can your team re-engineer and modernize the engine to be multilinked engine that is one engine per tire that driven to the intended horsepower instead of the old outdated engine tech that everyone is using in this world currently. Please really pass this to toyota corporation teams man, you are one of the giant that the world trust and use everyday, it is time for your team to make things happen the honest, responsible way to truly modernize the machine man. Be a good leader earning good money by truly monderize different aspect of the machine instead of just another look man and I mean including the safety instead of just another fancy sensor gadgets. Your corporation holds the top selling volumns out there shouldn't all of you steping up now to modernize all of the aspect now. Materials man, using tungsten, lead, and boron alloy and turn into sheets, than bonding them together to have end product that is one piece instead, it allows even thinner material to even meet up with the same strength which eventually leads to lighter weight as it further develop even though I prefer you still meet up with the same weight as current machine which leads to stronger and safer machine man. Hey Toyota corporation, even I have a lot of family and friends using your machine so it's time for you to be truly responsible and make this thing happen man, don't put asians at risk man, shouldn't your team think twice, you are hearing asians speaking to you on this man, just make it happen and I will be watching, if you can make it happen I will definitely continue to buy you machines man and I own one of your lexus already so I am not speaking out of blue.
ei3io
Historically the best designers use minimal fake add-on lines and form and this FT-1 also shows that high caliber. All the sour grapes above with 'overdone scoops' 'completely unnecessary', 'Speed-Racer' 'cartoons', 'Hot wheels' etc totally miss a key point in good design that form follows function first. Scoops and vents that feed direct cooling air to hot brakes and engines are a very worthy function and I see hardly any fussy lines for the sake of themselves like too many designers use today. The only potential unnecessary detail is the glass hood unless it also allows hot air to escape possibly in a raised rear gap. Then its also removable for hot weather racing. The permanent body and adjustable Kamm effect wing hopefully also has an adjustable front ground effects scoop using a different color to be very functional with its paint destruction location. There seems to be little to no fakeness anywhere so Toyota this time did very well. I hope Subaru's WRX will keep returning back to its early no bs design after too many years off target.
SamD
Koenigsegg called. They'd like their roof curves back. Please.
The Skud
Derrek Chan - You seems to want a automotive version of a 'Transformer'. To a lot of the other posters - Read it again, the story says most of the 'flashy' scoops are there for a reason, not just as showy bits. For myself, it was designed as a sports car, let it be a sports car. At least it is not so much of a bland, one-size-fits-all design that could swap a dozen makers' badges and nobody would notice.