•Company answers Akio Toyoda's call for design revolution, more heart-pounding design
•Stunning design draws on Toyota's rich sports car history
•Calty Design Research celebrates 40th anniversary with ultimate design concept
DETROIT, Michigan (Jan. 13, 2014) - 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 COBO Hall.
The name says it all. FT-1 stands for 'Future Toyota,' and the number '1' represents the ultimate. According to its designers at Calty Design Research, the FT-1 Concept is 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 project started nearly two years ago and represents a labor of love by a passionate, dedicated and gifted Calty design team. '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, especially Celica and Supra, 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.'
The FT-1's audacious design represents the pinnacle of Calty's 40th year of operation. Guided by the Toyota design ethos of Vibrant Clarity, a unique fusion of both emotional and rational factors that delivers a more exciting and dramatic design expression with unique Toyota identity, the concept is a spiritual pace car for Toyota Global Design. The goal of this ideological shift is to develop future generations of products that better connect emotionally with Toyota's global consumer base.
Traditionally, Toyota's design decisions have been driven by consensus among a large group of stakeholders. Únder Akio Toyoda's stated directive to invigorate Toyota products with energy, passion and 'Waku-Doki' (translation: a palpable heart-pounding sense of excitement), the approval process has been streamlined. This new approach aims to produce cars that connect more deeply with customers, generating a more satisfying ownership experience that complements Toyota's legendary reputation for quality, dependability and reliability.
'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 front engine rear-wheel drive configuration locates the cockpit far rearward within the wheelbase to improve weight distribution. This design element also helps create the classic sportscar proportions one would expect from a vehicle poised to dominate even the most challenging road course. The cockpit's wraparound windshield and side glass openings are a distinct nod to the design of the legendary Toyota 2000GT.
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. A delta-shaped display zone surrounds and integrates the driver to provide an exhilarating sense of being connected to the vehicle. 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. A color heads-up display keeps the driver's attention on the road ahead, with vital information projected just above the steering wheel within the driver's line of sight.
While technical specifications do not accompany the concept, one can assume that the FT-1 represents 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.
In preparation for pitching the concept to Toyota management, Calty worked with Polyphony Digital, creators of the popular Gran Turismo driving simulator, to bring FT-1 to life in a virtual world that captured the excitement, passion and performance conveyed by the concept model. Toyota executives were offered the opportunity to take FT-1 for a timed lap around a computer-generated Fuji Speedway. Behind the wheel of the concept, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, an accomplished race car driver, completed the virtual circuit faster than his best real-world lap time at Fuji in his LFA. From that moment, he was convinced and the concept was approved to be built in model-form for the international auto show circuit.
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
Fabulous Toyota FT-1 Concept Is Ready to Drive January 14
•Stunning FT-1 Concept Vehicle Available January 14 as a Download for PlayStation®3 Exclusive Gran Turismo® 6
•Gran Turismo game engine used to pitch FT-1 concept to Toyota management
•High Performance FT-1 concept embodies Toyota's vision for ultimate track-focused coupe DETROIT, Michigan (Jan. 13, 2014)
– It seems the virtual world continues to delight us with experiences not yet available in the real world. Beginning January 14, the stunning Toyota FT-1 concept will be available as a downloadable vehicle for PlayStation®3's Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) real driving simulator. Race fans and the gaming community can experience FT-1 exclusively in GT6, where the FT-1 was created digitally to realistically demonstrate what a production FT-1 could achieve.
'Thanks to the amazing capability of the Gran Turismo game engine, gamers can enjoy a very real simulation piloting the ultra-high performance FT-1 on the tracks it was designed to master,' said Kevin Hunter, President of Calty Design Research, the group responsible for the FT-1design.
As part of the pitch process to top management that saw the FT-1 concept selected for construction and display on the international auto show circuit, Calty sought a way to help key executives (including Akio Toyoda) better experience the concept. Calty approached Polyphony about utilizing the Gran Turismo game physics to help create a driving simulator experience that could physically communicate the performance and emotion of the high-performance concept. For the day of design selection, the Polyphony team was able to bring the Toyota FT-1 to life in a virtual world that captured the excitement, passion, and performance conveyed by the concept model.
This exciting concept is a spiritual pacecar for Toyota's future design direction. Penned by enthusiast designers at Toyota's Calty Design Research facility in Newport Beach, California, the vibrant concept represents Toyota's vision of the ultimate high-performance sports car. Its name is derived from Future Toyota (FT), and the number '1' as in ultimate. The unparalleled physics engine in GT6 will bring the FT-1 to life for a gaming community eager to get behind the wheel of this aggressive, track-focused, visionary sports car concept.
Gran Turismo continues to be at the forefront of development with the world's most recognized automotive brands, pushing the racing simulator beyond gaming's boundaries to affect the broader automotive industry as a whole. GT6, the latest iteration of the best-selling franchise, comes complete with the most realistic physics engine and massive online functionality, while offering a staggering collection of more than 1,200 of the world's best cars and 37 tracks – with many of those cars coming first to GT6 thanks to unique partnerships like the one with Toyota.
'It's always been a dream of ours to have our automotive partners use Gran Turismo in exciting new ways,' said Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of Gran Turismo and President of Polyphony Digital Inc. 'The design team at Calty developed a stunning concept car and we were honored to work with them to render the car digitally for the concept presentation. The FT-1 is a forward-looking, technically advanced and beautiful concept car. We can't wait to see fans' reactions as they drive the vehicle and get to know it the way I was able to.'
Owners of GT6 will be the first to test-drive the FT-1 as a free online update beginning January 14. Úpon downloading the latest update, a unique seasonal event featuring the Toyota FT-1 will be made available in the game. Receive a bronze or better in the FT-1 challenge at Laguna Seca and you will receive the car. Drivers will also be able to purchase the vehicle from the Toyota dealership in the simulator without having to complete the seasonal event.
Source - Toyota
In addition to the creation of the FT-1 in GT6, Toyota is also represented in the groundbreaking Vision Gran Turismo project. A celebration of the franchise's 15th anniversary, the project invites leading brands to design their vision of the future of driving. The resulting concepts will be released exclusively on GT6 throughout the year.