Auto Show: 2014 Detroit Auto Show
Toyota FT-1 Concept: Detroit Auto Show
What Is It?
The Toyota FT-1 Concept is a futuristic concept sports car sure to wow Toyota fans who miss earlier high-performance Toyota models such as the Supra and the Celica. Exterior styling is comprised mainly of dramatic swoops and curves that represent a major departure from current Toyota road cars like the Camry and Corolla.
Dubbed FT-1 for "Future Toyota 1," the concept car's most exciting features are in front -- where a pair of narrow headlights are separated by a long hood that comes together in a Formula 1-style point -- and in back, where a huge rear diffuser and enormous dual exhausts share space with triangular taillights and a large, retractable rear wing.
While Toyota hasn't announced what's powering the FT-1, the car's engine is enormous, and clearly visible through a window placed on the long hood. Such unique design traits are also carried over inside, where the FT-1 boasts an advanced cabin filled with screens and electronic displays, including one on the rim of the steering wheel.
Will They Ever Sell It?
We'd be surprised if Toyota ever brings the FT-1 to market in this form, since the concept car has a lot of dramatic creases that would be hard to replicate in production. But a car that's similar to the FT-1 could certainly see the light of day, as Toyota has long been teasing a replacement to its high-performance Supra, which left the U.S. market in 1998.
Why It's Important
The Toyota FT-1 Concept is an important exercise, even if it never sees a public road or an owner's garage. That's because it proves Toyota still has performance on the brain -- a big deal for a brand once accused of primarily offering bland vehicles designed to get drivers from point A to point B.
Indeed, the FT-1 marks just the latest attempt from Toyota to change that reputation -- an effort that began with the exciting Scion FR-S sports car, and one that carries over into Toyota's upscale Lexus brand with its high-performance "F" division and the tremendously powerful LFA supercar. While just a concept, the FT-1 is great news for performance enthusiasts. And we'll be interested to see if Toyota decides to bring a similar car into production.