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Toyota to Show Hybrid Sports Car Concept in Detroit

3 January 2007

Fths
Toyota’s FT-HS.

Toyota will introduce its FT-HS hybrid sports car concept at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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 sports hybrid system with a target power output of approximately 400 hp (298 kW).

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. In addition to driving enjoyment, today’s drivers are concerned about safety, ecology and social responsibility.

—Kevin Hunter, vice president, Calty Design Research

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.

A speed-activated wing elevates at high speed for additional stability and traction.

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I'm sure the Toyota loyalists on this site are going to go bonkers on this. But if GM introduced this CONCEPT VEHICLE, they would be roundly chastised for its severe ugly styling, along with being trounced for intoducing a vehicle that is not utilitarian enough for everyone, in this energy efficient environment we are in.

That being said, I think it is an interesting idea, aero wise. More development in aero is what the majority of todays vehicles need. Perhaps this is the kind of vehicle I need for my daily commute. But with the carbon fiber and kevlar, I am sure it will be over the 10-15K target I am dreaming for in a commuter car.

Yea, let's see if the Ford bashers come down on this utterly impractical vehicle. Somehow, I just don't think they will.

0wned by Tesla

It looks like Toyota has had a similar brain cramp to Honda's when they decided to go for performance rather than mileage on the Honda Accord Hybrid. It will probably meet with the same market success. Hybrid buyers are environmentally conscious. They want adequate performance but not race car performance at the price of mileage. This thing, if it ever really sees the light of day, will be a real turkey.


Good!

Maybe if they keep pounding their heads on the Brick wall they will finally catch on.

Toyota makes $10B a year in profits. You can do a lot of pounding with that kind of money.

It's a lot smarter to put a powerful hybrid system in a sports car rather than a 4-door family sedan, so even if this does come to market it should do better than the HAH.

At least they have several models that get good mileage as well as the Prius. They make SUV's and now a Sports car. If someone wants to buy them... Just think of all the gas guzzlers that other car companies build without a Prius alternative.

I'm a Ford (GM & Chrysler) basher objectively coming down on Toyota for this utterly impractical (concept) vehicle, too- OK at least Toyota's not touting the E85 gimmick here.

Seriousl ug-ly!

I will defend Toyota for two reasons.

1. While Ford offers no, non SUV hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle(outside of fleet sale Crown VIcs to cops) Toyota does offer real eco-friendly cars.

Hell even their regular cars get better mileage than Ford.

In other words, this sports car is just another feather in Toyota's cap, another conquest in an empire of alternative fuel cars.

Ford is way behind and attempts to win PR points by showing off a muslce car that burns E-85.

2. Superior tech from Toyota.

Note the 400 HP generated by a 3.5 Liter V-6.

Ford's Muscle concept gets 400 HP but requires a 5 Liter V-8.

Toyota goes out of itsway to design the most aerodynamic car possible.

Ford designs a muscle car with a blunt front end that acts like a wall.

Toyota proves that through light weight design and superior engineering sports cars can still be part of a sustainable tomorrow.

Ford, desperate to find a car America wants floats an old fashioned Detroit monster, in which they shove the biggest engine they can find and proclaim its green because it can burn E-85.

Notice that the most exciting cars from Detroit at last year's Detroit show where the Charger and Camero, cars that harken back to an era in which Gas was all but free and Americans burned it as if the ocean was made of the stuff.

Toyota gains attention with real cars, like the Camry last year, the Corolla next year, as well as the upcoming 3rd generation Prius Plug in.

Toyota is in the position that their trucks and sports concepts are completely offset by real world fuel efficient models and alternative vehicles.

Ford and the rest of Detroit are in the exact opposite position.

They butter their bread with trucks and muscle cars, and then pathetically attempt to offset their destructive designs by building more trucks and muscle cars that can, but probably won't run on E-85.

Based on the article, the V6 does not develop 400 hp, rather the 400 hp comes from the combined power of the hybrid system, so it could simply be the 280 HP V6 in the 2007 Avalon coupled with the 105 KW electric motor in the 2007 Camry, with a battery and control system that allows drawing 90 or so KWs from the battery, for a combined power output of the parallel system of 400 hp.

had a test drive in a prius yesterday , It makes the Ford feel as atractive as a garden shed by comparision!

If they can produce something with Prius like mpg in a sports car, fine. Otherwise, forget it. Excess is what has brought us here, with another record warm year projected for 2007. Does anyone want to be on the same roadway with someone who would actually be using this car, or those like it, to its full potential. These kinds of cars should be restricted to the race track.

Lotus Elise chassis with an adapted Prius driveline...taht would be interesting. City mileage would be greater than the Prius but highway mileage would be worse. It would be close to 2000lbs and have performance similar to the older Elise with the junky rover 1.8L engine.

But if GM introduced this CONCEPT VEHICLE, they would be roundly chastised..
Toyota sells 300,000 hybrids a year!! Enough said.

Toyota isn't just a specialty auto company building one type of vehicle. Some of its customers want SUV's, some cars, some want very high mileage, some want performace.

Toyota is using its hybrid technology to deliver better performance for those performance buyers. And by selling more volume cars with batteries and related hybrid parts, they advance that technology.

My one complaint is if they push it as a 'green vehicle'. Seems sort of weak to me.. but they could say listen we know you sports car people want a performance car, and thats what you are going to buy. This car isn't as environmentally friendly as a prius, or an electric scooter, but it is a substantial improvement over what came before in the same segment.

I want a hybrid compact pickup with decent mileage and I want a hybrid sports car with decent mileage what is wrong with that?

I have a wrx now, and it gets less than 20mpg so changing to something with similar performance and much better mileage could only be seen in a positive light.

You don't build boring cars and try to cram them down the consumers throat by suggesting they are environmentally friendly. That attitude may fly on a fringe website, but in the real market place you have to provide what consumers want and doing it with better fuel economy is a plus from any angle.

hybrid sports cars are great as concepts, but you quickly run into two problems if you actually want to drive it quickly:

weight: batts are heavy, weight is the #1 enemy of sports cars

lack of energy: if i have a 400 hp corvette and a 400 hp hybrid, the hybrid might keep up with the corvette for the first 2 or 3 miles of flat-out driving. after that, the batts will be dead and it'll be a 400 hp corvette vs whatever the ice is in the hybrid

give me a twin turbo 6 over this any day. it'd be cheaper, lighter, faster, and probably more efficient in aggressive driving

yes, obviously, this is an argument based on racing, which nobody ever really does, but to sell a $150k supercar (price is my guess only) you have to pretend that it could actually go racing and win if it wanted to.

Shaun, you would have a point if the road was straight and 20 miles long, and speeds over 160 mph were reached.

However, in the real world there are corners and braking zones.

Even the heaviest footed road-drivers spend only a small fraction of the time at wide-open-throttle.

These occasional power surge requirements are easily covered by a hybrid.

Poke around the net for the other images of the car; I think most would be pleasantly surprised. I'm a Toyota diesel fan, but love performance in a vehicle aimed for the racerboy market. However, this car seems to create a new niche altogether.

That said, on a lot of net communities, the *ahem*, "real" car guys are poopooing the concept, and it seems most here are as well. I think that once we see one in operation, a lot of hearts will be won. Both Toyota and Honda are thinking radically different, and have the money to take risks like this. I applaud them.

This car is a hybrid for performance reasons, it will just happen to get great economy for a 400 horse sports car as a side benefit. Electric motors have massive torque from 0 rpm up, and they pull like the dickens! The prius has 295 ft/lb from 0!! This car will accelerate much better than you will expect from a 400 horse car........

The prius has what...a 10 sec 0-60? Doesn't sound like the torque helps as much as you allude it does.

Problem with a hybrid sports car on a race track is that the braking is heavy and quick which means a great amount of energy has to be stored in a relatively short period of time. This means eventually the battery would be depleted as the hybrid is likely to be setup for normal every day driving (not the racetrack). Only those who are SCCA members or are in other similar racing events will run into this type of problem. You shouldn't have any problem running the 1/4 mile with full power out of this vehicle.

BTW- the 3.5L V-6 doesn't have to be setup the same as the avalon as it makes around 306hp in the IS350.

Patrick, not saying the Prius is a barn burner. The car in question will have much more torque with a bigger electric motor and of course ICE. Which, of course will also be optimized to put out full power at a specific rpm, as with any Toyota Hybrid drive. As far as regen, they can't yet recover a great deal of energy under sporting conditions, but this is not a race car. Driven nomrmally, as most people will do a great deal of the time, it will recover a signifigant amount of energy.

That is pretty much what I was saying, Bud. There are so few members of racing clubs that the hybrid drivetrain won't be a negative for the average person who purchases the car.

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