The Toyota FT-1 Concept was one of the few cars that we didn’t get a chance to discuss during this year’s Detroit Auto Show. That’s not because it wasn’t a great concept, but because Toyota, along with every other automaker, made sure we had quite a bit to discuss (such as the TRD Pro Series) and we simply didn’t get around to it.
With this latest piece of news, we’ve been given an opportunity to go back and look at the breathtaking sports car concept.
What news is that?
The title says it all – Toyota has reportedly confirmed that the FT-1 Concept will eventually make it to production as the resurrected Toyota Supra.
We’ve talked a bit about the Supra before, but just to remind you, it was a beloved RWD sports car from Toyota’s early years, specifically the 80s and 90s. Towards the end of the 90s it began being banned out of various markets for its failure to adhere to the then-new emissions regulations. Now, almost 20 years later, Toyota is ready to bring its most-loved sports car back from the grave.
News of the Supra’s return is actually just a small sampling of what Toyota’s planning in the years ahead. A recent interview between Karl Schlicht, executive VP of Toyota Europe, and AutoExpress let us know to “expect more risky designs and emotional surprises like the FT-1 Concept.” Toyota is on a mission to transform its brand image from that of bland and reliable to that of the best and the boldest.
Schlicht went on to credit Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s current CEO, with the Japanese automaker’s new direction. “Toyota has really changed under Akio Toyoda – he really doesn’t care about selling more cars than anyone else, in fact he’s paranoid about growing too quickly,” Schlicht said. “He’s told everyone in the company not to chase the number one spot, but to do things right, make the best cars and the money will come.”
Of course, this strategy is probably a lot safer when you already are the number one spot, but we appreciate the sentiment nonetheless. And, we’re certainly not going to object to more cars like the Toyota FT-1 Concept, which can apparently trace its roots all the way back to the Lexus LFA – an uber-expensive, limited production supercar that nobody in Toyota besides Akio Toyoda himself wanted to make.
Schlicht elaborates: “The LFA was the hardest project to push through, but he [Toyoda] did it anyway. He wanted to liberate the minds of his engineers. In a way the FT-1 is the next stage in that, a more accessible version of the LFA.” In fact, he even went so far as to claim that the GT-86 and the upcoming Lexus RC-F wouldn’t be possible without the innovation spurned from the LFA’s development.
To digress just a little bit, we still don’t know very much about the reportedly upcoming Toyota Supra. However, we know that the Toyota FT-1 Concept was designed by the companies CALTY studio, so we expect the Supra will be just as stunning as the FT-1, if not more so. Furthermore, we know that the concept featured a powertrain capable of 485hp, so if and when the Supra comes to be, it’ll certainly pack a punch.
Unfortunately, we have no official idea when we will see the Toyota Supra production model, or even if there’s to be another concept between now and then. However, AutoGuide indicated that the new Supra would likely come sometime in 2015 as a 2016MY. It’s a bit of a wait, we know, but if there’s any car worth the wait it’s the new Toyota Supra.leave a response, trackback from your own site