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Toyota FT-1 Concept Debut

Toyota's "dream project" comes to life


What's New

The Toyota FT-1 Concept was originally created for the Gran Turismo 6 video game, but after a dramatic debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we can't help but think this car will find itself in production form at some point in Toyota's future. Drawing comparisons to the famed Toyota Supra--a car that has been out of production for more than a decade--we can easily see a modern Supra silhouette, and for fans of the rear-wheel drive Toyota sports car of yore, this would be a natural replacement. For Toyota, an automaker largely associated with functional, reliable cars such as the Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla, the highly styled FT-1 Concept is a jolt of exuberance. Dramatic styling on the exterior gives way to a minimalist cockpit with a performance focus.

Who It's For

For much of the 1990s, rear-wheel drive Japanese sports cars were all the rage, but come the 2000s sales tapered off, and models such as the Mazda RX-7, (and later RX-8) were discontinued. Others such as the Nissan 300ZX (later 350Z, currently 370Z) didn't enjoy the same stature as before. But murmurs of a revival were abundant, and Toyota's joint venture with Subaru has produced what may be the start of a new generation of enthusiast cars out of Japan, with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. But while those models are fun and accessible, the Supra would dial up performance--and price--significantly. We're thinking that the Toyota FT-1 is going right after the Acura NSX and Nissan GT-R.

Key Features

The Toyota FT-1 Concept was originally designed for Gran Turismo 6 and is a dramatically styled sports car.
  • Style. The dramatic FT-1 will turn heads.
  • Performance. Front engine, rear-wheel drive, F1 inspired.
  • Nod to famed 2000GT and strikes a modern Toyota Supra Silhouette.
  • Created for Gran Turismo 6, but we think there was a push within the company to kickstart its sports car program.

What We Think

Toyota won't confirm that this is the next Supra, but we like what the name indicates. FT-1 stands for "Future Toyota," and the number "1" adds the ultimate distinction. Make no mistake, this would be Toyota's most exciting model, and would follow Akio Toyoda's directive to invigorate Toyota's lineup. While we don't have performance specs, on looks alone, we say "build it!" This may all be speculation at this point, as the Toyota FT-1 Concept is just that, a concept. But what is evident to us and much of the auto industry, is that there is certainly a golden opportunity here, if designers could make a production model that looks close to as alluring as the FT-1 Concept.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Detroit 2014

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