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.

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.


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

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History of Toyota sports car
Over 50 years of pedigree