<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nZsO7aEnYA8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>The Toyota FT-1 concept is a pure performance, track-focused sports car model created by CALTY Design Research, Toyota's North American Design branch. The FT-1 concept is a symbol that captures elements of the emotion and energy we can expect to see in future Toyota vehicle designs. Its design is heavily influenced by Toyota's long sports car tradition that includes vehicles such as 2000GT, Celica, Supra and most recently, FT-86 (Scion FR-S)
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1oSTfQ4c7y8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>Beginning January 14, the Toyota FT-1 concept will be available as a download exclusively for PlayStation®3's Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) real driving simulator. Race fans and gamers can experience FT-1 in GT6, where they can test the concept's thrilling performance.
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Calty Design Research President Kevin Hunter introduces the Toyota FT-1 sports car concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jan. 13, 2014. First devised by Calty in Sony PlayStation's Gran Turismo 6, the name 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. For more on the FT-1, visit http://www.toyota.com/concept-vehicles/
Fabulous Toyota FT-1 Concept Is Ready to Drive January 14-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
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. Under 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.”
Toyota’s Calty Design Research Celebrates Its 40th Year and a Rich Sports Car Design Heritage-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
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. Upon 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.
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.
2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) - Toyota FT-1 Concept Reveal-From humble beginnings, Calty Design Research has become a pre-eminent automotive design center strongly influencing Toyota vehicle designs
-Calty studios play a critical role in Toyota’s North American regional autonomy strategy
-The Toyota FT-1 Concept is the culmination of Calty’s long history with sports car design
The first design center established in North America by a Japanese automaker, Toyota’s Calty Design Research began as a bold experiment on October 2, 1973 in El Segundo, California. Ideally situated in California to best absorb the influence of the state’s burgeoning car culture, the first Calty studio was viewed as a unique exploratory branch of Toyota’s global vehicle design organization. At the time, no one in the Toyota organization could imagine that 40 years later, the Calty facility would play a key role in some of Toyota’s most significant designs and be pivotal in the company’s movement toward regional autonomy for North American product development.
The Calty name is a mash-up of the words California and Toyota. The initial mission was to serve as a laboratory for new design ideas, providing an open field for form, shape, and materials exploration. Calty offered Toyota’s designers a place to study, understand and incorporate the trends, tastes, and product requirements for vehicles destined for the important North American market.
Compared to the resources of rival automaker studios, the first Calty effort was very much a “mom and pop” operation. “El Segundo wasn’t a campus. It was one portion of a modest building in an industrial area. There were about six designers and 25 people total in support. Meanwhile, we would hear that domestic studios had 300 modelers and 100 designers. The manpower available meant Calty designers had to know more about the package and the architecture of the cars since we only had a couple of studio engineers. Early on, there was an underdog feeling at Calty which helped make working there feel like a team effort,” said Doris Kusumoto, Calty Financial Manager.
Guided by the vision of Toyota Motor Corporation patriarch, Shoichiro Toyoda, and Calty’s first Executive Vice President, Mamoru Yaegashi, the first Calty studio launched with Noritsuna Watanabe as its General Manager. Under Watanabe’s direction, the goal was to establish a design and research “beachhead” in the U.S. market. The small facility operated under the stealthy veil typical of design studios where employees held a practice of not explaining what they did in the intimate confines of the El Segundo building. “Given the security surrounding vehicle design, we kept it as a hush-hush operation. Some locals thought we were a small manufacturing facility, or even selling t-shirts. Early on, it was so low profile, we were not allowed business cards,” added Kusumoto.
In 1978, Calty relocated to the Orange County, California suburb of Newport Beach. That same year marked the first time a Calty-influenced design, the iconic 1978 Toyota Celica Liftback, reached production. This design initiated the studio’s history with sporty coupes.
Calty Design Research grew in its design prominence as Toyota soared in the global automotive market. Calty earned more design responsibility and gained influence as Toyota sought to maximize product development resources to broaden the global product line. In the late 1980’s, Calty designers engaged in more coupe form study lending design creativity to what would become the 1992 Lexus SC400. This expressive luxury coupe made a visual statement about the Lexus brand, then in its infancy.
The Calty facility grew in 1990, tripling in size, and adding two new buildings. Today, it employs 65 people working in an 85,000 square foot design space. As regional product development autonomy grows, the Calty team continues to work closely with planning groups at Toyota Motor Sales to help develop production vehicle concepts. Skills such as sketching, clay modeling, CAD, milling, fabrication and painting bring concept models to life. Today, Calty’s imprint on Toyota Global Design is profound, with an estimated 75% of the concepts emerging from Calty influencing or becoming production vehicles down the road.
With the growing emphasis on regionalization of product development, in 2004 Calty opened a design center in Ann Arbor, Michigan to collaborate with the nearby Toyota Technical Center. The Ann Arbor Calty facility focuses on local production design efforts such as Tundra and Avalon, products designed specifically for the North American market.
In 2012, Calty added the Toyota Innovation Hub in San Francisco. Strategically located near Silicon Valley, the establishment of this facility was a key step in Toyota’s global initiative to partner with innovative companies in technology, social media and design. “We want to transplant the innovative culture of the Bay Area to Toyota’s in-house innovation team,” said, Kevin Hunter, President of Calty Design Research. “It is a critical time for the automotive industry to redefine itself in response to new technology, customer’s expectations for new experiences, and the way industries are structured.”
Since 2007, the Newport Beach and Ann Arbor studios, and the San Francisco Toyota Innovation Hub have been guided by Hunter. A Toyota Design employee since 1982, he is Toyota’s first North American design president. In addition to several key production vehicles such as Tundra and Avalon, key sports car and sporty coupe projects such as Scion Fuse, Toyota FT-HS, Lexus LF-LC, and now the FT-1, have evolved under his leadership.
On the heels of revealing its most impactful sports car design yet in the Toyota FT-1, the future looks very bright for Calty as Toyota’s initiative for more regional product autonomy continues to shape its North American products. “Key volume sedans such as Avalon validated the regional development strategy. Focusing the design and engineering in the car’s primary market resulted in a very successful and appealing sedan tailored to the tastes of the region’s buyers,” said Hunter. “As for the future, we see FT-1 as symbolic of an evolution in our mission as we move toward designs that better balance key emotional and rational elements as part of our brand promise. Calty will be integral in the movement to bring more emotional, more satisfying and engaging Toyota designs to market.”
Early Calty Production Sportscars:
Calty has designed or had a hand in many sports cars, including 1978 Celica, 1989 Celica, 1992 Lexus SC400, 1993 Supra, 2007 FT-HS, 2012 Lexus LF-LC, and the 2014 FT-1 Concept.
First production car designed by Calty.
Celica Liftback version. Front engine, rear wheel drive.
The 1989 Celica was influenced by Calty’s era of art and experimentation. The experimentation with plaster balloon shapes and use of ceramic clay resulted in the discovery of organic shapes.
Key Production Car Designs Supporting Regionalization:
First production car design to emerge from Calty Ann Arbor studio.
At time of launch was “Most North American Truck”(designed, engineered and built in America)
Concept version of Tundra was the 2004 FTX, which was unveiled at NAIAS.
Calty designed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Avalon models. The 2013 model helps usher in a new more emotional design direction for Toyota’s flagship sedan in North America.
2013 NASCAR Camry
Represented Calty’s first collaboration with TRD and NASCAR to design an exterior for racecar
Key Concept Vehicles:
2003 FJ Cruiser Concept –
FJ Cruiser Concept is a reinterpretation of the spirit of the FJ40 in a modern way.
Some things had to change for production when designing the 2007 FJ Cruiser, but the essence of what was created in the concept still carries through in production design.
Among the first early hybrid sports car concepts while Toyota’s early hybrid technology was still evolving.
The Calty design team was tasked with creating a mid-priced sports car concept that integrates ecology and emotion to address the question, “What is a suitable sports car for the 21st Century?”
The FT-HS incorporates hybrid capability while maintaining sports car essentials, such as a sleek profile, lightweight aero-dynamic materials, and an advanced high-output powertrain for revolutionary acceleration and optimal performance.
Affectionately referred to as a “smartphone on wheels”
Advance connectivity concept
Won the 2012 EyesOn Design Award for Best Concept Design at NAIAS, as well as the best concept design award at the Chicago Auto Show and Golden Marker Award in Japan.
LF-LC was a design study created at Calty to explore a future luxury coupe and Lexus design.
2 + 2 hybrid luxury sports coupe
The Scion Fuse Concept became the 2011 Scion tC production car
Exterior design inspired by racing helmet
The Scion Fuse Concept’s goal was to push the limits of a coupe concept by combining entertainment, digital technology, and versatility into one sinister looking package. Most importantly, its styling makes a visual statement about its intention to expand the performance envelope among affordable, entry-level sport coupes.
Inspiration came from the "HAKO" super GT racing cars of Japan, commonly known as the JGTC series.
Calty Design Research President Kevin Hunter and Studio Chief Designer Alex Shen
Calty Design Research President Kevin Hunter:
Ladies and gentlemen…the Toyota FT-1. This is a symbol of Toyota’s design future…a spiritual pace car for a changing, evolving Toyota.
Not long ago, Akio Toyoda challenged his designers to create cars that spark people’s emotions…cars that make them say, “I want this…I HAVE to drive this!”
His message has always been very simple…Make it cool!
I can tell you, Toyota’s designers are absolutely passionate about designing cool cars. Our goal at Calty was to answer that challenge by creating a truly exciting, high performance, sexy halo sports car…period.
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.
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.
For many years, Toyota has approached product development relying on a strong influence from the market through consumer studies, and a high degree of internal consensus. The goal was to produce a vehicle that was liked by everyone…and as a result, we took less risk and tried not to stray too far from designs that had been a success.
But with the head of the company saying, “Show me style that stirs people’s emotions and makes them say I want to drive this,”…Toyota’s design efforts are less reliant on consensus now. We have empowered our designers and engineers to develop a creative and passionate vision of future mobility. The goal is simple, yet profound…develop future generations of products that connect on an emotional level.
As a result of this new global commitment, we expect to develop the most capable, most exciting generation of vehicles the company has ever produced.
Even the name FT-1 stands for Future Toyota, and the number 1…of course…represents the ultimate.
The ultimate world-class sports car…with the ultimate performance envelope…a true enthusiast track car in the iconic lineage of 2000GT and Supra.
As you might recall, Calty has a proud history of designing sports cars:
The 1978 Celica…
The Lexus SC400…
The FT-HS…and as revealed here two years ago, the Lexus LF-LC concept.
So it’s fitting that FT-1 is introduced to you on the occasion of Calty’s 40th anniversary. As the chief designer in North America, I am fired up about the future of Toyota design.
I would now like to introduce Alex Shen, a true car geek and Calty’s Studio Chief Designer, to tell you more about this stunning concept.
Calty Design Research Studio Chief Designer Alex Shen:
Thank you Kevin. The FT-1 concept began as an initial study nearly 2 years ago, as a “dream mission” of expressing the ULTIMATE Toyota sports car design.
It signifies a labor of love by a passionate, dedicated and highly focused team of designers, and sculptors, who truly LOVE cars.
The FT-1 design draws heavily on Toyota’s long sports car heritage. Cars like the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, and FR-S were studied and their influence resonates in the execution of this design.
The FT-1 is powerful and agile…visual excitement that is born from a rational consideration of fundamental sports car requirements.
On the exterior, ‘Function-Sculpting’ was our key term to imagine the FT-1 design. We wanted it to look as if it was beautifully sculpted by the wind while providing functional cooling to optimize aerodynamic performance…it gets your heart racing just looking at it.
The deeply sculpted intakes and outlets have sexy, curvaceous surfaces and transitions. This was our approach in creating “beautiful solutions to manage dirty air.”
The FT-1 features a glass window to showcase the heart and soul of the sports car, a high output, internal combustion engine.
The interior of FT-1 is all about creating a purpose-built space for serious driving.
The unique slingshot cockpit immerses the driver to provide an exhilarating sensation of being one with the car and the road.
With emphasis on lightweight component architecture, we took a minimalist approach to form and function. There is just the right amount of padding only in the areas that come in contact with the driver or passenger.
The interior features a fighter jet inspired heads-up display is positioned above the steering wheel and projected out ahead of the driver to keep the eyes focused on the road.
The human-machine interface is enhanced by controls located on the steering wheel, with a four-quadrant layout, enabling the driver’s hands to remain firmly on the steering wheel.
You may have noticed that we opened this press conference with video footage from the new Gran Turismo 6 driving simulator. We collaborated with the Gran Turismo team to develop a virtual FT-1 and it was used as a tool to pitch the concept to Akio Toyoda.
Before reviewing the physical model, he drove the FT-1 on Fuji Speedway in GT6. He gave us a thumbs up when he finished his virtual lap faster than his best time in his own LFA in real life.
Akio had so much fun driving this car that we felt that it was only right that you too get a chance to set your personal best lap times. Beginning tomorrow, the FT-1 will be available as a downloadable vehicle for Gran Turismo 6 game owners.
As a special gift for our credentialed-media here today, Toyota will be passing out copies of the Gran Turismo 6 game at the conclusion of this press conference.
Before we invite you all up to the stage, I’d like to introduce the FT-1 team that helped bring this dream to life…William Chergosky, Tom Matsumoto, Bob Mochizuki, Andrew MacLachlan, Sellene Lee and Tim Farnam.
Kevin and I, along with the rest of the team will be up here on stage to answer any questions that you may have. Thank you all very much for your time today. I’d now like to invite photographers up here first to get some pictures of the FT-1.