It wasn’t a world debut, but the Toyota FT-1 Concept was THE stunner of the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS), which we just got home from. Sitting at the welcoming edge of Toyota’s stand at JI Expo, this was the car everyone wanted a selfie with.
With good reason, because the front-engined, rear-driven FT-1 is a stunning blend of dramatic curves and classic sports car proportions. Toyota’s preview of a future halo model made its debut at Detroit 2014 earlier this year, but that car was in red. This unit, in gorgeous graphite grey, was first shown at the 2014 Pebble Beach car show in August, so it’s hot off the press.
Managing to secure such a display is quite an impressive feat for the local Indonesian arm, but I guess that when you control over half of what could grow to be one of the world’s biggest markets (Toyota and Daihatsu combined), you have reasonable clout.
The FT-1 is the work of Toyota’s Calty design studio in California, aiming “to give Toyota products more energy and passion” as well as to create cars that “connect more deeply with customers and generate a more satisfying ownership experience.”
Prominent frontal intakes, an F1-style protruding nose and front wing, striking 21-inch wheels wrapped in 245/35 series rubber, large twin tailpipes and a retractable rear wing make no bones about its performance aspirations. The wrap-around windscreen and side glass openings are clear nods to the 2000GT of the 1960s, while the long bonnet has a transparent section through which the engine is visible.
The driver faces an F1-inspired steering wheel with gear indicator and an engine start button. Flanking it are shift paddles, and just above it sits a colour head-up display and a delta-shaped display zone.
There are also two deep bucket seats (lined with brown natural-grain leather for this grey car) and a swoopy centre console, but we can’t show you all of that – the car was on a raised platform that was out of bounds.
One can already drive the Toyota FT-1 and its racing sister in Gran Turismo 6, but let’s all pray for the real thing. New Supra? Yes, please!
Toyota FT-1 Graphite
Toyota FT-1 from Detroit 2014