Visions of the future

History of Toyota sports cars (part 8)

Shown at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, the stunning Toyota FT-1 concept represents the ultimate expression of Toyota design by building on our sports car heritage to create a vision of what the future may hold.

Future Toyota number 1

The FT-1’s front engine rear-wheel drive configuration locates the cockpit relatively far back, to improve weight distribution. This also gives it classic sports car proportions. The wrap-around windscreen and side window openings are a distinct nod to the 1967 2000GT.

The FT-1’s bolder and purer design was a result of a companywide movement to invigorate Toyotas with more energy and passion, and the process was streamlined to the FT-1’s benefit, nicely coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Toyota’s Calty Design Research studio in the United States.

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Car and driver as one

2015’s S-FR builds on our heritage of lightweight, fun-to-drive sports cars, with the entry-level concept car study again putting driving response to the fore. The aim: to encourage a whole new generation to fall in love with driving again.

With a design influenced by the archetypal sports car proportions of long bonnet, wide stance and short overhangs, the S-FR’s compact and light body houses the keen driver-favoured front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration and independent suspension.

This focused approach offers the advantage of a smooth, responsive drive and outstanding handling to provide a real sense of communication and intimacy between car and driver.

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With a sports car heritage that’s the envy of any motor manufacturer, a renewed focus throughout the company to build ever-better cars that are even more fun-to-drive and a tantalising glimpse at what may be on the horizon, Toyota’s sports car future looks set to be as unforgettable as its rich and memorable history.

Published: 24 October 2016

Information correct at time of publication.

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More from Toyota heritage

2000GT - History of Toyota sports cars 2000GT - History of Toyota sports cars Famous for its starring role alongside Sean Connery in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, the Toyota 2000GT arrived on the world stage in the same year and instantly made a statement that Toyota was serious about challenging the best sports cars Europe had to offer. CELICA - History of Toyota sports cars CELICA - History of Toyota sports cars With a name that means ‘Celestial’ or ‘Heavenly’ in Spanish, the minute the Celica turned a wheel in 1970, it was destined to be a star. The Celica was designed to provide drivers with a greater feeling of freedom, combining a practical interior within a sporty and affordable package. COROLLA - History of Toyota sports cars COROLLA - History of Toyota sports cars On the face of it, Toyota’s most well-known family car – and the world’s best-selling vehicle – the Corolla, would seem out of place in the company of highly-focused sports cars but, in truth, over the years the Corolla has produced some of the most well-loved sporting Toyotas. GT86 - History of Toyota sports cars GT86 - History of Toyota sports cars For sports car fans and Toyota purists, the arrival of the GT86 in 2011 was a welcome relief. With no MR2, Celica or Supra in the range to satisfy their cravings for the past few years, the pedigree of the GT86 was exactly what they had been waiting so long for.

History of Toyota sports car

Over 50 years of pedigree