Toyota has today revealed a second interior styling and exterior colour for an upscale interpretation of its sensational FT-1 sports car concept.
Developed by Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, California, the concept vehicle’s graphite exterior paint and light, saddle-coloured leather accents went on display for the first time at the Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival gala held on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
The original FT-1 concept ignited sports car enthusiasts and the automotive world with its January debut at the North American International Auto Show.
Labelled the spiritual pace car for the new direction of Toyota Global Design, the muscular, curved exterior builds on Toyota’s rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently the 86 sports car.
The first FT-1 stunned in a bold red, while this second iteration impresses with sophisticated graphite. Designed to get the heart racing, both share the deeply sculpted intakes and outlets that support its track-ready nature and the dramatic lines seemingly shaped by the wind.
The colour of the upscale leather accents changes between the first and second FT-1 vehicles, and the visual difference is striking. The first car was dominated by bold, masculine black that keeps the driver focused on the road, while red painted edges and raw metals provide intriguing accents.
In the second, the natural leather accents on the seat are supple with an all-natural grain, giving it an authentic appeal. The painted edges that are red in the first concept are now subtly blended brown in the second. The intention is to bring in a more sophisticated feel and authenticity through colour choice, showcasing the versatility of the FT-1 sports car concept. Enthusiasts who desire a more pure high-performance experience might choose the black-red pairing, while others may desire the premium, athletic feel of the saddle leather accents.
“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 colour concepts.
“In the colour studio we help create the atmosphere of the vehicle, and our aim was to ensure everything supported the driver through efficient choices,” she said.
Lee drew inspiration for the FT-1 interior from the modern, high-tech performance materials used for today’s superhero costumes. A movie poster drew her attention to the modern shift from past heroes’ bright tights and colours to today’s performance fabrics and function. To achieve the FT-1’s advanced-looking, intricately detailed interior, Lee and the team compared leather accent thickness, grain size and texture to find the perfect combination. Raised metal mesh provides ventilation for the seats while lending a more textural, bold effect that beautifully matches with the metal accents. A dimensional embossed pattern on the instrument panel brings in a 3-D, technical look.
“From colour 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.”
Beyond her superhero performance material concept, Sellene Lee moved away from the typical stitching or piping edge treatment found in many vehicle interiors. The painted red edges on the welded leather accents and painted brown edges on the second FT-1 were inspired by high-end leather bags she found in an upscale department store. When drivers sit in FT-1, they can feel the difference in materials, textures and colour choices that resulted from the team’s work.
This September, two new versions of the FT-1 will be available for download virtually inside Gran Turismo 6 (GT6), the latest iteration of the best-selling racing franchise exclusively on PlayStation®3.
Like the red FT-1 introduced in January, the graphite FT-1 concept roars onto the Gran Turismo 6 racetrack as a downloadable vehicle for a limited time.
Additionally, in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo series, Calty has also designed an ultra-high-performance race version of the FT-1 that inside the game is called the FT-1 “Vision GT.”
This high-powered version interprets what a full-race FT-1 might achieve on the track. See how the FT-1 Vision GT came to life by watching this video:
The GT6 played an important role in helping key executives (including global president Akio Toyoda) better experience the FT-1 concept prior to building the vehicle. Both virtual versions capture the same excitement, passion and performance the physical FT-1 vehicles inspire in those who see them.