Toyota has unveiled its latest concept car at the Detroit Motor Show, and this one was conceived in a very unusual way: the FT-1 was first devised and tested inside the Gran Turismo game in a collaboration between developers Polyphony Digital and Toyota’s US-based Calty Design Research studio.
Standing for “Future Toyota”, the FT-1 is a front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports coupé that has echoes of classic Toyotas like the 2000GT, Celica, Supra and MR2 – although Toyota says that it has been designed by a small team rather than the company’s traditional consensus-driven method, and that this more streamlined approach is intended to produce cars that “resonate more deeply with customers.”
The car has what might be described as a “muscular” form – dramatically sculpted, lots of inlets, vents and ducts – and this apparently aids track-ready performance via airflow. At higher speeds, a retractable rear wing can be deployed to boost downforce.
Toyota is playing it cool regarding the FT-1’s technical specifications, but we imagine that the engine will be fairly powerful. Like, over 1.1 litres at least.
Debuting on the PS3 today
In preparation for pitching the car’s design to Toyota’s higher-ups, Calty created a virtual version of the FT-1 in Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3. Company executives were then invited to take the pixellated version of the car on a spin around the Fuji Speedway; when Toyota president Akio Toyoda beat his real-world best lap time with the FT-1, the blueprints were green-lit for an actual car to be built.
From today, you’ll be able to see for yourself. A free online update for GT6 adds an event featuring the FT-1. Achieve bronze or better and you’ll unlock the virtual version for use in the game.