The unveiling was one of the few real surprises of the show, as Toyota had kept it under a tight veil of secrecy, with no teasers or leaks leading up to the big reveal. The concept, which was designed by Toyota’s North American Calty Design Research group, hints at the possible direction a new Supra might take.
The front-engine, rear-wheel drive concept is named the FT-1 (for "Future Toyota 1"), and is the result of a two-year development project described as a dream assignment
While Toyota’s design decisions have traditionally been driven by consensus among a large group of stakeholders, the process for the FT-1 was streamlined under company president Akio Toyoda’s stated directive to invigorate Toyota products with energy, passion and “Waku-Doki” (translation: a palpable heart-pounding sense of excitement).
Calty’s designers pitched the project to Toyoda with the help of a Gran Turismo driving
While the FT-1 concept doesn’t offer any technical specifications beyond the basic drivetrain layout, a Toyota press release accompanying the debut promised "an ideally balanced front-engine, rear wheel-drive layout that is powered by a high-technology, high performance internal combustion engine. Beneath a transparent glass hood, an ambiguous engine cover hides a powerplant left to the imagination of the onlooker."
According to Toyota’s press release, the FT-1 concept embodies the possibilities of an 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."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)