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Toyota Introduces FT-HS Hybrid Sports Car Concept: “An Attainable Exotic”

The FT-HS.

As promised, Toyota introduced its FT-HS hybrid sports car concept in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show. (Earlier post.)

The car is a front-engine, rear-drive, two-plus-two 400 hp (298 kW) sports car with a projected zero-to-60 acceleration in the four-second range. Toyota’s Concept Planner in charge of the project, Chiharu Tamura, started with the GS 450h powertrain as the basis for the FT-HS.

(At Toyota, a Concept Planner is in charge of a concept until the company makes the decision to produce it; at that point, a Chief Engineer takes over.)

The GS 450h combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a new compact, high-output, permanent magnet electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The transmission utilizes an advanced two-stage motor torque multiplication device for the Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) motor, delivering responsive and seamless acceleration with no power loss. (Earlier post.)

The GS 450h offers a combined system output of 339 horsepower, and zero-to-60 acceleration of 5.2 seconds.

The FT-HS hood features a scalloped channel highlighting the hybrid engine and branded with “Hybrid Synergy Drive”. Click to enlarge.

Tamura began working with the GS 450h powertrain, exploring ways to lighten the weight, and in so doing, he said, “the world changed”—albeit in an as yet publicly unspecified way. The FT-HS retains the 3.5-liter V6 engine, but couples it with what Toyota is calling a sports hybrid system.

As a result, the combined FT-HS system produces 18% more power and the car accelerates 23% faster than its GS 450h parent.

The combination of the lighter weight of the vehicle achieved through design and styling innovations (subtractive mass and aerodynamics) and the changes in the powertrain give the mid-priced FT-HS the position of “a true attainable exotic with 21st Century performance,” according to Kevin Hunter, the Vice President of Calty Design Research.

Toyota, which has worked on the FT-HS for about a year, has not announced any plans to commercialize the concept.


Ron Fischer

When specs are released it will be very interesting to compare this to the Tesla Roadster. One spec this car will likely win is top speed... and range ;-)

I wonder if it will be priced to compete with the Tesla?

shaun mann

5.2 seconds to 60 and a top speed that cannot be maintained once your batts die does not an exotic make.

exotics run in the 3s, attainable exotics (like the ZO6) run close to four.

the ford mustang gt-h does 0-60 in 5.3, the subaru wrx sti does it in 5.1, the lancer evo 9 does it in 4.5, the 350z in 5.3. these are pretty quick cars for around $35k, not exotics by any definition.

the difference is that they can put their power down all day, whereas the toyota has to stop and take a breather to recharge its batts.

of course, in real life, this difference doesn't matter. but exotics are not about real life, they are about bragging rights.


The 5.2s refers to the GS 450h, a luxury sedan iirc. Removing several hundred (maybe a thousand) pounds from the platform and aggressive gearing should be enough to drop it into the 4s range. If it can run with a Vette in terms of cost and 0-60/1320 performance, while averaging 30+mpg (maybe dipping into the 40's during sedate city driving), Toyota would have a winner. After all, if it is 23% faster than the GS 450h, it's faster than a C6.

Dan Frederiksen

This is not a hybrid!
this is a pure gas poluter with an electric transmission system. This is about as green as a coal powerplant

Ian Williams

This is a hybrid. Just like other advances in automotive technology hybrids can be used to give more power and better fuel economy on a sliding scale. Electrically turbocharged hot rods like this and to a lesser extent the Accord represent one end of that scale The Prius and Civic Hybrid represent the other

If someone who is going to buy a $60k performance or luxury vehicle contributes to advancing the technology it’s a good thing for all of us. He was going to buy a mid life crisis car anyway. A 30mpg Hybrid Rod is still better than the 8-14 mpg of most exotics.


This is a research project and they state they have no plans to commercialize as yet.I think the key is,{subtractive mass and aerodynamics}.
With Toyotas record on bringing innovation to their product lines lets hope these lessons learned can be applied to mass produced models.

hampden wireless

One source I have read says mid 20's mpg the other says 35mpg. At 35mpg this is a very clean car for its specs... at anything less then 30mpg its not. A new Corvette gets 28mpg on the highway and has less then 5 sec 0-60mph.

shaun mann

so, 23% faster than 5.2 seconds gives us 4 seconds. that certainly is quick and the electric power would be 100% on tap all the time, no waiting for revs or turbos to spool, so it would feel even quicker.

it'd still have weight or energy problems, though. batteries are still heavy.


I think the car here is not pretty enough to demand that sporty of a power train. It looks like a Celica crossed with an 80's toy vision of a future car and a shovel. Maybe the LF-A concept can use a secondary power train for a lower end or more eco friendly trim. Don't think a V10 gets very good mpg or sells as well when gas is unpredictable, anyway.

Love that they're upgrading the already impressive gs450h power train, hate the packaging.


tell me where to sign! this car is bitchin! i would buy one right now if on the market! i love every detail every curve make it look like the picture with CHERRY RED!


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