Sports cars will thrive in the 21st century world of rising fuel prices and environmental responsibility, judging by a concept car unveiled today by Toyota Australia. The FT-HS - which stands for Future Toyota Hybrid Sports - is a futuristic sports-car concept with a sleek, aerodynamic profile and a potent petrol-electric hybrid engine. Its front-engine, rear-drive layout provides revolutionary hybrid acceleration and optimal performance with a projected 0-100km/h dash in the four-second range.
It also features the fuel-saving benefits and ultra-low emissions of Toyota's hybrid technology. Toyota Australia's corporate manager product planning Peter Evans said the FT-HS is exhilarating to drive while having eco-friendly benefits such as impressive fuel efficiency and low emissions.
"To really appreciate FT-HS, think of it as a 'Prius on steroids'. Alternatively, it could be a vision for a Toyota Supra of the future," Mr Evans said. "FT-HS shows what Toyota can achieve by combining its 50 years in motorsport with more than a decade of hybrid experience and development.
"The ability to enjoy the ultimate driving pleasure with a clear conscience makes FT-HS the ideal sports car for the 21st century. "It will appeal to an emerging group of buyers who are environmentally aware and regard technology as a necessity, not a luxury." Toyota is the global leader in hybrid technology, having sold more than one million units of the world's first mass-produced hybrid, Prius.
The new concept car mates an electric motor to a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, which is similar to that used in several production models.
Its combined power output target is about 300kW - or almost 50 per cent more than the V6 petrol-only engine in the Aurion family car, Kluger mid-size SUV, Tarago people mover and RAV4 compact SUV.
FT-HS was produced by Calty, Toyota's California research and design centre. The centre set out to develop 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?"
Australians can view the FT-HS concept on Toyota's stand at the Melbourne International Motor Show (29 February to 10 March).
TOYOTA FT-HS CONCEPT VEHICLE
3.5-litre V6 hybrid electric
Target output: around 300kW
Projected 0-100kmh time: mid four-second range
Overall length: 4325mm (170.27 in)
Overall width: 1860mm (73.23 in)
Overall height: 1290mm (50.79 in)
Wheelbase: 2650mm (104.33 in)
Tracks - front: 1600mm (63.0 in); rear: 1555mm (61.2 in)
Wheels: Carbon fibre
Tyres - front: 245/35R21; rear 285/30R21