Toyota’s concept sports car recalls its heritage

Concept

The FT1 puts a modern look to Toyota’s sports car heritage.

TOYOTA has today unveiled a groundbreaking concept coupe at the Detroit Motor Show.
Toyota’s Calty design studio set out to create the ultimate sports car and the result is the FT-1 Concept.
The design team, based in California, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and wanted to create something special.
The design looks back at Toyota’s long history in the sports car sector, going back to the 2000GT it made in the mid-1960s, but with a modern look, feel and high tech.
The exterior captures the look of racecar with a curvilinear form, pronounced front wings and sharply defined contrasts that express powerful performance. The FT-1’s optimum aerodynamic qualities are communicated by its large air intakes, exhaust ports and retractable rear wing.
The front engine/rear-wheel drive configuration allows the cockpit to set further towards the rear of the car, within the wheelbase, helping improve weight distribution and create classic sports car proportions. The wraparound windscreen and side glass arrangement are a clear nod to the design of the original 2000GT.
The ergonomics of the cabin capitalise on the car’s low centre of gravity, helping the driver derive the maximum reward from the driving experience. A delta-shaped display zone helps make the driver feel at the heart of the action, fully connected to the car. This quality is reinforced by the Formula 1-style steering wheel and a colour head-up display that projects key information just above the wheel. The designers have pushed the A-pillars as far back as possible, to increase visibility when cornering.
Traditionally Toyota’s design decisions have been driven by consensus among a large group of people; as part of a company movement to give Toyota products more energy and passion, the process has been streamlined. This approach has been fundamental to the development of the FT-1, a concept that captures Toyota’s aim of creating cars that connect more deeply with customers and generate a more satisfying ownership experience.

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