This morning at the Detroit Auto Show the most exiting debut of 2014 has already happened! Yeah, they leave the door pretty wide open with the name “FT-1” which stands for “Future Toyota 1”. Is it the return of a legend, or just another tease from this automaker that has gone soft? What the car world needs is the former, the Mark V Supra. Everyone’s thinking it, everyone’s saying it, I’m just repeating it…in hopes that it comes true. Let’s be honest here, if you are reading this you most likely haven’t been interested in anything Toyota has been selling lately, or since 1998 for that matter.
For nearly two decades there has hardly been a car pass through their assembly line that wasn’t designed by Al Gore, and if you’re the type of individual who pretends to enjoy tofu burgers you probably aren’t bothered, but I highly doubt you would be cruising the internet in search of high performance motoring. The two just don’t go hand in hand. This new concept however is a breath of fresh air for every JDM FR junkie out there!
Upon initial inspection, they’ve stolen some bits and pieces from other manufacturers to make the body. The roof was nicked from the new SRT Viper, the windshield and windows borrowed from the GT-R, in addition to a remolded rear end and quarter panels they found on the Corvette Stingray production line. Yet, somehow, it looks completely unique and original. When it is all put together it makes the best looking Japanese sports car since the NSX, and one of the best looking cars period in decades.
Contrary to my cynicism, the styling pays tribute to the retired Toyota sports cars of the past. The slanted roof and wrap-around style windshield pay homage to the 2000GT, and the voluptuous rear is reminiscent of the MKIV Supra. The front seems to have been a redesign of the FT-HS concept, which as my esteemed colleague described as saying “It looks like a crying man” was quite horrifying.
They seemed to have evolved the F1 style nose quite well for the Toyota FT-1. The design follows the concept of “Waku-Doki” which is helpfully translated by Urban Dictionary as “the feeling of anticipation and that adrenaline rush you get when you are about to do something exciting.” It’s an attempt by the president of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, to bring life back into a watered down nameplate, and to get out of the kiddie pool into the deep end with the likes of Honda and Nissan.
White Toyota has not disclosed any details on the power plant, they have bolted on a fake engine cover to leave it up to our imagination. Before you start dreaming of massive turbos and inline-6 TRD engines, I’ll go ahead and destroy your hopes. If you read my article on the Lexus LF-LC, you can expect a similar approach to be taken with the FT-1, housing a N/A V8 with electric hybrid assistance to help push it above 500 hp.
This current era of FR sports cars is all about the high revving high tech V8s, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this followed suit. The price could also be a downside. We’ve been tracking the possible disguised revivals of the Supra for quite some time and the recent concepts of Lexus have been rumored to be around $200,000.
I think it’s too soon to get all up in arms about this new “Supra” because this is just a polished shell on a stage. Having said that, Toyota, you would be completely ill in the head if you don’t make this exact car and exact design a reality. Not only that, if you don’t call it the MKV Supra, Akio Toyoda should be put in a padded room.