Before the doors open to the halls of any motor show, there’s a constant feed of teasers, hints and all too frequently entire reveals of cars that take the edge off the events. There’s little in the way of secrecy or surprise any more, something that Toyota felt the need to put right.
The Japanese firm genuinely wowed the crowds at today’s opening of the North American International Motor Show in Detroit by revealing the FT-1 concept.
Penned by Toyota’s Calty Design Research group in the US, the FT-1 is a further step in the studio’s desire to create the ultimate sports car.
Strikingly modern, the concept references Toyota’s sporting past, including the classic GT2000 from mid-1960s, with a curvilinear shape sprouting pronounced front wings and sharp contrasts to express performance. Air intakes, exhaust ports and a retractable rear wing all lead to a feeling that the design was aero-optimised, but not aero-led.
Design-by-committee has long been an issue at Toyota, leading to a less than inspiring range of cars on sale today, excluding the delightful GT86, but that has changed with the FT-1. Design decisions have been streamlined, opening up the prospect of cars with more passion and energy making it through the process.
Change can’t come soon enough.