Friday, September 12, 2014

New Toyota FT-1 Concept, Vision Gran Turismo Join GT6 Lineup

While Supra fanatics will have to keep waiting in the wings, the hungry sports-car masses can feast on two new Toyota FT-1 concept cars which will be featured as playable vehicles in Gran Turismo 6. One of the concepts is a real-life reimagined, premium-flavored version of the first Toyota FT-1 concept which premiered at the most recent Detroit auto show; the second is a track-focused racing FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo virtual concept car. The first Toyota FT-1 concept, in its attempt to impress upon the automotive world Toyota’s return to sports car design and engineering after years of boring cars, bore a flashy red paintjob and a performance-minded interior when it debuted at the 2014 Detroit auto show. This second, graphite-painted Toyota FT-1 is more understated in its character, adopting a premium natural-grain leather interior in place of the red FT-1’s black-and-red theme replete with exposed raw metal. The cockpit takes on a softer and more refined atmosphere, but the road-focused driver’s seat, flat-bottom steering wheel, and heads-up color display carry over. The concept exists both as a real-life vehicle as well as a virtual, playable option in Gran Turismo 6. The car debuts publicly this weekend at the festivities on the Monterey Peninsula in southern California. Otherwise, this graphite Toyota FT-1 is identical to its predecessor. We’re still left in the dark about what powers the enticing FT-1, but we do know that it is a high-output, naturally aspirated combustion engine delivering its power to the rear wheels. Many hope that the FT-1 design will birth a resurrected Toyota Supra, which enthusiasts fondly remember as a highly tunable sports coupe. Others predict that the next Supra will fall under the umbrella of the joint Toyota-BMW Silk Road hybrid sports car project which will also give rise to the upcoming BMW Z5. Toyota’s interpretation of a Vision Gran Turismo concept uses the Toyota FT-1 as its foundation, but the track-focused model looks to be very much transformed for ultimate performance. Designers were given carte blanche to envision the FT-1 as a proper track monster. “The design brief for this car was very simple,” Toyota Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter explained in a video promotion for the concept, “Take the FT-1 concept car and turn it into the most kick-ass, bad-ass, super race car you can imagine.” Upgrades such as larger racing tires with accommodating wheel arches, exaggerated air intakes, a more aggressive rear wing, front aero fins, revised side mirrors, and an extended rear diffuser make for major performance upgrades. The result is better grip, increased cooling, more downforce, and reduced drag. Both the Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo and graphite FT-1 will be available as playable models in Gran Turismo 6, beginning in September. Previous Vision GT cars include the Mercedes-Benz Vision GT, BMW Vision GT, Nissan Concept 2020 Vision GT, and Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision concept.

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