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The Toyota FT-1

By marian on April 20th, 2016

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Toyota FT-1 Philippines

Most people growing up would probably have a dream car. Some may dream of owning a Toyota Fortuner in the Philippines while others would dream of driving an AE86. The thing about dreams, however, is that they seldom become a reality. One of those dream cars turned into reality, however, is the Toyota FT-1.

The Toyota FT-1 is Toyota’s very own entry into the world of high-speed sports cars. It looks and feels amazing and specs-wise, it’s seriously one of the best legal sports cars around.

Origins

The Toyota FT-1 started out as a concept car desgned by the folks over at CALTY Design Research at their North American branch. The FT-1 herald the beginning of the future of Toyota cars as it evokes feelings of familiarity by giving knowing  nods to some of Toyota’s latest and greatest such as the 2000GT, Celica, Supra and the FT-8 which is also known as the 2016 Scion FR-S.

Cultural Impact

The FT-1 received acclaim upon its release to the point that it became an everyday topic on the Internet’s most famous message boards as well as in some car enthusiasts circles. At some point in time, the FT-1 made itself available on the PlayStation 3 game Gran Turismo 6 as the Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo 6 Concept. Vision was also designed by Toyota’s Calty Design Research in Newport Beach in California in the United States.

Design

The Toyota FT-1 is a result of a company-wide pseudo contest where a number of Toyota employees under Alex Shen, the Studio Chief Designer at Toyota’s Calty Design Research in Newport Beach California submitted their designs. During the styling phase known as the “Styling Concept” in Calty Design Research, Alex Shen described the theme of the FT-1 to be “Sexy, Honest, Organic and Kick-Ass” and sexy it was.

Specs-wise, the then unnamed FT-1 was conceived to be Front or mid-engine, rear drive as well as not exceeding the $60,000 price tag. Shen mused that since it’s a Toyota car, it has to be affordable.

As stated above, there were many sketch submissions and while all of them were good, none of them had the ‘it’ factor that the FT-1 needed. Finally, they happened upon a rough sketch that they described as “Supra-esque” and from there, they found their FT-1 muse.

Debut

When the FT-1 debuted at the North America International Auto Show, it wasn’t a real car but it did run. It was what is known as a concept car. A concept car is essentially a proof of concept that a particular car can run and usually, depending on public opinion, whether will the car be made or not. The FT-1 was the subject of universal acclaim and everyone loved the sexiness and Toyota-esque feeling that it invoked.

Toyota_FT-1

The future today

Because of the public’s reaction as well as the timing, the Toyota FT-1 moved to the next step of car production. At the time, Akio Toyoda stated that Toyota needed a Supra-like car back to Toyota’s line-up. On 2014, it was announced that the Toyota FT-1 was the next generation of Supras.

What’s in a name

The Toyota FT-1 is a gorgeous car and people have often wondered what FT meant. Simply put, FT-1 means Future Toyota. It wouldn’t be out of place to say that the FT-1 is the beginning of the future of Toyota cars in the Philippines and worldwide.

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