The darker color gives the FT-1 a level of luxury that was absent on the earlier version. Designed by Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., it is labeled as the new direction for Toyota Global Design. The FT-1 builds on Toyota’s long and storied sports car heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica and iconic Supra.
"From the start of the FT-1 project, we wanted the driver to have a feeling of flow while at the wheel—to be able to focus on the road and nothing else,” said Sellene Lee, the Calty creative designer who proposed both color concepts. "In the color studio we help create the atmosphere of the vehicle, and our aim was to ensure everything supported the driver through efficient choices. The saddle leather maintains that same ‘in the zone’ driving intention, while bringing in a more premium feeling.”
There is no denying that the FT-1 is a looker. The design is unlike anything Toyota has on the road right now, and if true, is an exciting preview of things to come from the automaker. Inside, the interior is driver oriented, wicked wild like the exterior design and sports car aimed. The design team delicately chose leather thickness, grain sizes and textures to make the perfect combination of materials.
"From color and trim standpoint in the FT-1, there was a laser-like focus on staying true to function,” said Wendy Lee, studio chief designer at Calty. "This project was very special, as the FT-1 stands apart in its performance-driven, authentic purpose. ”While the FT-1 Vision Concept is years away from any possible reality in its current form, it is a downloadable car in the video game Gran Turismo 6—for a limited time of course.
It presents what could be the future of the car on the track, though with Toyota’s current cozying up with BMW, a small, Supra-like sports car could very soon be a reality worth shared underpinnings of a BMW sibling.