Toyota FT-HS Concept

 

Press Release
Jim Lentz - Toyota FT-HS Concept Reveal at 2007 North American International Auto Show
01/07/2007
Toyota FT-HS Concept Reveal
Toyota/Lexus International Media Reception
2007 NAIAS, Detroit
Sunday, January 7, 2007 6:30 PM
Riverview Ballroom, Cobo Hall
Jim Lentz - TMS Executive Vice President
Kevin Hunter - Calty Design Research Vice President

Good evening and welcome to Toyota's International Media Reception. We're glad you could join us. We're looking forward to this year because 2007 marks two major milestones in our history.

First, Toyota will celebrate its 70th anniversary as a company. And second, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Toyota in America.

I can't think of a better way to kick off both celebrations than to be here with you in Detroit, the heart of the auto industry in the world's greatest automotive market.

This year, we have some great news to share with you.

Earlier today, you got your first look at our amazing new Tundra CrewMax. It's the capstone on a new full-size truck line-up that's been seven years in the making. We carefully listened to our customers and have high hopes it will meet the needs of hard-working people everywhere.

Tomorrow, you will see two exciting new cars from Lexus that make a dramatic statement of performance. The vehicles include the all-new IS-F performance sports sedan. I like to say that the "F" stands for "fast," but it also stands for an exciting new "future" for Lexus.

Now, along with exciting new ventures in trucks and performance cars, Toyota has also been a strong global force in the development of environmentally advanced vehicles and particularly gas-electric hybrids.

No other technology available today does as much for the environment and petroleum conservation as hybrids. They are much more than just a "bridge" to the future, they are the future. And we're in the process of proving it by putting them on the road in various forms to the delight of customers the world over.

It started a decade ago when we introduced the world's first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius. It's been a huge hit and we've already sold more than three-quarters of a million worldwide.
But we didn't stop there. We also introduced the world's first luxury hybrid SUV, the first hybrid seven-passenger SUV, the first hybrid rear-drive sports sedan, the first hybrid in America's best-selling car, and, this spring, we'll introduce the world's first V8 luxury hybrid.

Hybrids are amazingly flexible and we plan to keep pushing the envelope in terms of efficiency, performance, style and fun.

And that last one, fun, is what tonight is all about.

We think it's high time to have a lot more fun with hybrids, so we have a special New Year's surprise for you, a tasty hybrid sports car concept.

And to tell you all about it, please welcome one of our top global designers, the leader of our North American Calty design studio, Kevin Hunter. Kevin…

-- KEVIN HUNTER --

Thanks Jim. Good evening everyone.

Over the last year, our Calty Design Studio has been working on a project that addresses a question of interest to just about everyone in this room:

"What is a suitable…and appropriate…sports car for the 21st Century?"

Drivers today are not satisfied with cars that are simply fast. In addition to driving enjoyment, today's drivers are concerned about safety, ecology and social responsibility.

The concept we have been working on for the last year, the FT-HS, addresses both emotion and ecology, by integrating hybrid capabilities while enhancing the essential sports car fundamentals.

FT-HS is a front-engine, rear-drive, two-plus-two sports car. Its performance target is 400 horsepower, utilizing an ultra-high performance, ultra-fuel-efficient, and ultra low-emission 3.5-liter V6 hybrid electric powertrain.

Currently a pure concept, the FT-HS would feature a new-generation sports hybrid system designed to achieve revolutionary acceleration that only a hybrid can provide. Zero-to-60 acceleration is projected to be in the four-second range. At a mid-priced market position, FT-HS would be a true "attainable exotic" with 21st Century performance.

The FT-HS concept targets an emerging buyer- a buyer who grew up eco-conscious, who perceives technology as a necessity, not a luxury.

The priorities of this emerging sports car enthusiast inspired us to pursue a completely new design direction.

Ladies and gentlemen…the Toyota FT-HS concept.

---REVEAL---

FT-HS expresses the core values of a Toyota design strategy that combines two key elements: J-Factor, and Vibrant Clarity.

J-Factor is the conceptual umbrella. It refers to the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural sensibilities.

Vibrant Clarity, on the other hand is the design language used to express the J-Factor, much in the same way that L-Finesse is the language of the Lexus Division.

Vibrant Clarity is defined as perfect imbalance, integrated component architecture, and free-form geometrics.

The FT-HS profile exhibits perfect imbalance. It is dynamic, yet stable, and the triangle definition hints at Toyota Hybrid identity.

Freeform geometrics define the integration of fluid surfaces contrasting hard edge "Aero Corners" which promote smooth airflow and reduce turbulence. It all adds up to greater stability in high-speed driving.

Integrated component architecture can be seen in the aerospace inspired lighting. The tail lamp unit spans the entire rear, and has an integrated retractable spoiler.

The result of these three elements is an overall theme we refer to as subtractive mass, a minimalist style that is not only lightweight, but looks lightweight, as well.

For example, the hood features a scalloped channel exposing the hybrid engine. The roof has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and provide head room at the key areas. The front and rear have been sculpted to remove mass around key functional components.

FT-HS also features a new open-top system with innovative roof storage offering open-air driving pleasure while maintaining structural rigidity.

The interior is designed to create a dedicated driver's cockpit within the overall interior. All of the important functions and details are presented almost exclusively to the driver.

Subtractive mass is expressed in the interior components. The delta-wing driver's pod integrates many useful functions into a lightweight structural unit. The driver's pod also utilizes a touch-tracer interface to speed driver-activation of secondary functions.

A unique telescoping hub-less steering wheel system incorporates semi-automatic paddle shifters. The open hub design allows the meter to be shifted forward in order to shorten the driver's focus-time between the road and meter.

Seating is optimized for a lightweight appearance and function. The seats leave only the important contact points while cutting away unnecessary bulk and weight.

FT-HS re-defines the sports car experience not only with styling but also in function and performance.

The FT-HS achieves both eco-friendly and emotion in a sports car, and is Toyota' answer to the question "What is a suitable sports car for the 21st Century?"

Before we close, I'd like to introduce our design team….

" Erwin Lui
" Alex Shen
" William Chergosky
" Tom Matsumoto
" Jin Kim
" And Chiharu Tamura

Thank you all for joining us this evening. Please feel free to come up on stage for a closer look at the FT-HS. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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Toyota FT-HS Concept Debuts At The 2007 North American International Auto Show
Related Media 
01/03/2007 Torrance, CA
January 3, 2007 – Torrance, CA - The Toyota FT-HS hybrid sports concept will make its debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show.

Pairing a potent hybrid powertrain with essential sports car fundamentals, the FT-HS concept was a joint undertaking of Calty, Toyota's North American-based, research and design center located in Newport Beach, Calif., and Toyota's California-based Advanced Product Strategy Group. The design team was assigned the task of creating a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and emotion in a concept that addresses the question "What is a suitable sports car for the 21st Century?"

"Drivers today are not satisfied with cars that are simply fast," said Kevin Hunter, vice president, Calty Design Research. "In addition to driving enjoyment, today's drivers are concerned about safety, ecology and social responsibility."

The FT-HS incorporates hybrid capability while maintaining sports car essentials, such as a sleek profile, lightweight aero-dynamic materials, and an advanced high-output powertrain for revolutionary acceleration and optimal performance. This 21st century sports car is fun-to-drive with eco-friendly benefits such as ultra-low emissions and fuel efficiency. The FT-HS appeals to an emerging buyer who grew up eco-conscious and perceives technology as a necessity, not a luxury.

This two-plus-two concept is a front-engine, rear-drive sports car with a projected zero-to-60 acceleration in the four-second range. A powerful V6, 3.5L-engine is coupled with a 21st century sports hybrid system with a target power output of approximately 400-horsepower. At a mid-priced market position, FT-HS would be a true "attainable exotic" with 21st Century performance.

FT-HS expresses the core values of a Toyota Brand design strategy that combines two key elements: J-Factor and Vibrant Clarity. J-Factor refers to the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural sensibilities. Vibrant Clarity is the design language used to express the J-factor much in the same way that L-Finesse is the language of the Lexus Division. It is the combination of perfect imbalance, freeform geometrics and integrated component architecture. The result of these three elements is subtractive mass, a minimalist style that is not only lightweight, but also looks lightweight.

The exterior design was led by Calty designer, Alex Shen. From a design perspective, the theme of the FT-HS achieves sleek, taut surfaces in its exterior features – especially in the doors and body style. The front and rear have been sculpted to remove mass around key functional components. Freeform geometrics define the integration of fluid surfaces contrasting hard-edge "Aero-Corners" which promote smooth airflow and reduce turbulence.

The roof has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and provide head room at the key areas. Made from carbon fiber Kevlar, the roof retracts so that the roof panel and back window pivot fluidly in a downward motion to stow in the rear seat space.

The vehicle's triangular profile has a floating "C" pillar, aero corners, a full upper-body pan, and innovative open top. A hood features a scalloped channel, exposing the hybrid engine. Integrated component architecture can be seen in the aerospace-inspired lighting. The tail lamp unit spans the entire rear, and has an integrated retractable spoiler. Light-emitting diode (LED) clusters are located in the headlamps and the wing for energy-efficiency and decreased heat loss. Other exterior features include a speed-activated wing that elevates at high speed for additional stability and traction. The rear showcases a carbon fiber lower diffuser with integrated wide exhaust and carbon fiber wheels.

The driver-oriented interior was created by Calty designer, William Chergosky and exudes sleekness, technology, and performance. The lean skeletal look is achieved with exposed cross-car architecture and high-tech materials such as carbon fiber, and titanium. FT-HS' interior features create a dedicated driver's cockpit which include subtractive mass expressions such as cross-car instrument panel structure and delta wing driver pod. The delta-wing driver's pod integrates many useful functions into a lightweight structural unit. All of the important functions and details are presented almost exclusively to the driver. For example, touch-trace sensors which surround the driver and act as tactile guides for finger controls when traveling at high speeds.

By eliminating the "B" pillar and creating a suspended "C" pillar, the minimalist style works in conjunction with subtractive mass. An integrated instrument panel surrounds the driver, creating an enclosed pod effect. Armrests flow seamlessly into the door and surrounding interior.

Seating is optimized for a lightweight appearance and function: the seating accommodates four and then coverts to a two-seater when the roof retracts. The passenger-seat area is open with a simple exposed airbag on the cross-car beam.

A telescoping hub-less steering wheel incorporates semi-automatic paddle shifters and allows the meter to be shifted forward in order to shorten the driver's focus-time between the road and meter, and ultimately enhance driver focus.

“FT-HS redefines the sports car experience not only with styling but also in function and performance,” said Hunter. “The FT-HS is Toyota’s answer to the question ‘What is a suitable sports car for the 21st Century?’”


TOYOTA FT-HS CONCEPT VEHICLE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVETRAIN
3.5 Liter V6 hybrid electric

DIMENSIONS (inches)
Overall Length: 170.27

Overall Width: 73.23

Overall Height: 50.79

Wheelbase: 104.33

Wheels: Carbon Fiber

Tire Sizes: Front 245/35R21 Rear 285/30R21

 

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Images
 
Video
Toyota FT-HS Reveal - view videos in order for the entire presentation.

Irv Miller

Jim Lentz

Kevin Hunter

Kevin Hunter and design team