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Toyota's video game inspired FT-1 shows Camry's next front end look

Toyota introduces FT-1 design concept to celebrate 40 years of its Calty Design Research Center with a prototype at the Detroit Auto Show. We think it shows the next Camry front end.

Toyota revealed a new design concept car today called the FT-1. Designers claim that the car was inspired by the Celica and Supra for the 1970s (the first Celica Supra was a mid-year 1978 model). Apparently because the car is sporty, and has a front engine and rear-drive layout. As an owner of a 1979 Celica Supra I don't see it.

Toyota’s press release called the new prototype “the pinnacle of Calty’s 40th year of operation.” The name is derived from “future Toyota” and the pinnacle, being represented by 1. “Ichi,” one, is used a lot in Japanese culture The preceding word is often “Dai” which means number. Hence Diichi means number one.

Although a wonderfully sporty looking supercar, the defining feature really is the nose, which is now a front end we have seen on multiple Calty prototypes and concepts. We predict this is the look that the 2015 or 2017 Toyota Camry will have and that Toyota will make this the new design theme just as Calty was very excited about the reveal of the two year project. Lexus has now moved to the “spindle” grill.

Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer said “The FT-1 is a dream-project for a designer and car enthusiast like myself. Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra, and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe.”

The type of design is called Toyota Function Sculpting. The idea is that it looks muscular and that the inlets and aerodynamic panels are made to be beautiful as well as functional. In case anyone has missed the new turn towards edgy styling at Lexus, the folks at Toyota are tired of being called boring and are taking steps to remedy that label. Under the current chairman the designers and engineers have been ordered to inject some “Waku-Doki” (which means a heart-pounding sense of excitement) in to the new models.

This author views cars like this as simply ways to foresee the look of models not yet shown to the world. Toyota needs another supercar like a fish needs a bicycle. The LFA and other recent supercars by Toyota and anyone other than an Italian builder always start out, “It’s not a Ferrari, but…” The FT-1 is a supercar concept and not currently a real model slated for introduction. However, Toyota is proud to announce that video game versions are now available. The design for the car was first done to be compatible with the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game. The newest version of the game is reportedly being given away for free at the Detroit Auto Show this week.