Toyota's commitment to the development of a full range of hybrid cars that meet
the needs of a wide spectrum of motorists, including the enthusiast motorist with
a performance bias, is illustrated by the Toyota FT-HS hybrid.
For FT-HS read “Future Toyota Hybrid Sports” a vehicle designed to show that Toyota’s
advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive technology can be used to offer a powerful and exciting
driving experience together with outstanding environmental performance. By way of
example, one of the performance targets set for the FT-HS is a 0-100 km/h acceleration
time in the four second range.
Calty, the California based Toyota research and design centre, was charged with
creating the FT-HS concept as a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and
emotion to address the question: “What is a suitable sports car for the 21st century.”
The FT-HS blends hybrid capability with sports car essentials such as a sleek profile,
good aerodynamics, and light weight. It does this in a front engine, rear wheel
drive configuration with a powerful V6, 3,5 litre petrol engine coupled to a next
generation sports hybrid system.
This powertrain has 400 horsepower as its design target, sufficient to meet the
performance targets, including the aforementioned 0-100 km/h time in the four second
range. This level of performance clearly demonstrates the potential of hybrid technology
that will enable Toyota to move ahead to new frontiers in vehicle design.
The FT-HS is a four seat sports coupe concept car with a unique retractable roof.
Made of carbon fibre Kevlar, the roof panel and back window pivot fluidly in a downward
motion to stow in the rear seat space. In this configuration the FT-HS becomes a
two seater. The conversion from top-up to top-down takes just ten seconds. When
raised, the roof has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic
drag and provide headroom in key areas.
Another feature is a speed activated wing that rises at high speed for added stability
and traction. The rear view showcases a carbon fibre lower diffuser with integrated
wide exhaust while carbon fibre wheels complement the extensive use of high-tech
With a potential mid-market price position, the Toyota FT-HS would find favour with
eco-conscious customers who want to continue to experience the appeal of sports
car driving while minimising their environmental footprint. They are likely to be
people for whom new technologies are welcome necessities of life, not luxuries.