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Toyota Unleashes FT-1 Concept

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Toyota virtually blew the doors off the North American International Auto Show with the reveal of the stunning FT-1 sports car concept. First devised by Calty Design Research in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment, FT-1 leapt from the screen to the stage in a race-inspired press conference at the show’s COBO Hall.

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According to Toyota — the name says it all. FT-1 stands for “Future Toyota,” and the number “1” represents the ultimate. Its designers at Calty Design Research reveled that the FT-1 Concept was the ultimate expression of a Toyota coupe design, building upon Toyota’s rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently Scion FR-S. In addition, the concept draws inspiration from Calty’s more recent sports car concept work such as FT-HS (2007) and the Lexus LF-LC (2012).

“The FT-1 is a dream-project for a designer and car enthusiast like myself,” said Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer. “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, and we sought to capture some of that history.  It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe.”

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“Function-sculpting” design language yields curved, muscular, expressive body forms seemingly shaped by the wind. Inlets, ­ducting and vents are features of the exterior design that help reinforce its track–ready nature with elements of purposeful airflow management. At higher speeds a retractable rear wing deploys and tilts forward to create additional downforce. The body’s athleticism is expressed with taut surfaces and dramatic fender forms that seduce the eyes when covered in an unapologetically red hue.

The interior is a focused, highly functional “place of business” that locates the driver at the controls behind an F1 inspired steering-wheel.  The intimate, low slung cockpit has its A-pillars set far back to help ­optimize cornering vision and sensation of the cabin’s intimacy. The cockpit’s sense of minimalism adds to the purposefulness of the driver-focused environment with an emphasis on light weight components such as the ­composite seat covered with just the right amount of padding in only the areas that come into contact with the driver.

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For Toyota, this ­concept embodies the possibilities of the new and exciting design ­mission ahead.  “Sports cars represent the ­ultimate driving expression in its purest form. As car enthusiasts ourselves, this is the kind of p­roject we dream about working on,” said Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter.  “Beyond its obvious five-alarm visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota Global Design. 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.”
— Source: Toyota Motor Co.

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