The Toyota FT-1 concept would make a damn fine new SupraMon, 13 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800
The Detroit auto show is just getting started, and Toyota has kicked things off with a nice surprise: The racy FT-1 concept.
A product of Toyota's Calty Design Research facility, the FT-1 concept shares some of the swoops and vents with the Lexus RC F. But there's a boatload of high-performance styling cues there, too: Take a quick glance and you might spot the front end of a Ferrari Enzo, the profile of the Nissan GT-R, the double-bubble roof of the SRT Viper/any number of Zagato creations and the oversized retractable rear wing of the McLaren P1.
No matter how we dissect the styling, though, we have to admit: this is a sporty car that we'd love to see make it to the road. And from the looks of it, it doesn't look too wild to see production. We're still waiting to hear what might power this hypothetical halo car, but we're assuming it's going to be rear-wheel drive.
The sporty interior of the Toyota FT-1 concept.
Could the FT-1 represent the resurrection of that hallowed Toyota sports car that went out of production in 2002? The automaker didn't say. But it did connect the concept with some of the most revered performance cars in Toyota's historical stables, calling FT-1 “an iconic track can in the lineage of the 2000GT and the Supra” and “spiritual pace car.” And the "FT" is supposed to stand for "Future Toyota"...
We're hoping that's all code for “the new Supra,” though we're not going to hold our breath.
Either way, you'll be able to drive the car, virtually, beginning tomorrow -- provided that you have a Playstation 3. Toyota says the FT-1 concept will be available as a downloadable vehicle for "Gran Turismo 6." In fact, the car was built and tested in the video game by Toyota CEO and motorsport enthusiast Akio Toyoda before it made it to the concept stage. After setting a better lap time in the virtual car than he has in his real-life Lexus LFA, he reportedly greenlit the project.
Hopefully, a positive reaction from the public bodes well for the FT-1's future. It's certainly done more to get our blood pumping than the hydrogen-powered Toyota FCV concept we just saw at CES.
About the Detroit auto show
The North American International Auto Show, known to most as the Detroit auto show, continues to serve as a barometer for the entire industry. This year, we'll expect to see the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the 2015 Ford Mustang and the BMW M3 and M4. The 2014 Detroit auto show is held at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Mich. and is open to the public from Jan. 18-26.
By Graham Kozak