Toyota’s latest concept, the FT-Se, unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show, is an all-electric sports car that could go into production in the second half of the decade.
And the futuristic sports car has got more than a few people thinking about the beloved, the iconic MR2 from Toyota. Although the Japanese company says that the two vehicles are unrelated, the FT-Se’s compact size and proportions are one of the reasons why so many are viewing it as a spiritual successor to the uber-sporty and powerful two-seater built from the 1980s until 2007.
While the low-slung concept may not pack an ICE powertrain, but its stylishly sculpted metallic orange body and black bubble cockpit give it the look of a mid-engine speed machine.
Toyota said that the “wide and low proportions and a sleek, cutting-edge silhouette reduce aerodynamic drag” and pursues “handling stability” in a high-performance sports BEV model proposed as one of the options for sports cars in the carbon-neutral era.
Inside the FT-Se, the driver’s cockpit is a stripped-down version of a full-blown racing arcade, complete with a racing-style steering wheel, digital gauge cluster and lots of GR branding. Interestingly, the renders for the concept omit any infotainment system. Bucking the trend or just brave from Toyota?
Toyota hasn’t revealed much about the car’s powertrain. Still, so far, courtesy of the vehicle’s chief designer Fumihiko Hazama, we know that FT-Se will include two electric motors – one positioned on the front axle, the other on the rear – and a “unique” third-generation battery pack.
The pair of motors will give the car all-wheel drive, but it will also have a rear bias for those in case you want to drift. The engineer estimated the EV would be able to hit 62 mph in roughly three seconds and top out at around 155 mph.
The FT-Se is also most likely to come equipped with Toyota’s new energy-dense ‘Performance’ lithium-ion battery pack. Suppose you haven’t been following the Japanese carmaker’s escapades in revolutionising battery tech – in that case, it is the next-generation liquid electrolyte battery pack that is supposed to come into production by 2026, with a driving range of more than 800 kilometres and fast-charge times up to 20 minutes.
The Performance battery’s slim design – at 100mm tall – means the FT-Se’s battery will be half the height of the battery in Toyota’s first electric SUV, the bZ4X. Thus the FT-Se can have squat styling reminiscent of Toyota midship motors of old and a low centre of gravity.
Now all we have to do is wait and find out if this beautiful piece of machinery makes it to production (talk from Toyota at the Japan Mobility Show seemed to convince most that is to be the case). And if it does, how will it stack up against the promised all-electric Porsche Cayman and the electric hypercar Lotus Evija.