Toyota FT-HS was unveiled at 2007 North American International Auto Show. Toyota wanted to this car to build something noone else can do. And they decided to make a hybrid sport car. ts powertrain marries a 3.5-liter V-6 with a new-generation hybrid system to provide a combined output of some 400 hp driving the rear wheels. The transmission would be an evolution of Toyota’s current planetary CVT with discrete ratios selected via paddles.
When it will go on sale, somewhere in 2009, the FT-HS will be dramatically cheaper than its performance targets, however, which include the Porsche 911, the Ferrari F430, and the Chevy Corvette. Toyota concept planner Chiharu Tamura says the company aims to provide both on-road and on-track ability in the FT-HS. The latter comes in part from a more potent regenerative braking system, which would capture more braking energy than Toyota’s current hybrid system and would make that energy available for propulsion more quickly.
As with the powertrain, the goal of the design was to be unique. Again, Toyota took inspiration from its hybrids, namely the iconic Prius’s peaked-roof profile. That triangular theme repeats itself throughout the FT-HS’s dramatically creased exterior and into its cabin as well. The FT-HS further advertises its hybrid powertrain with its peek-a-boo hood, which features a hole through which one sees the engine cover with its Hybrid Synergy Drive logo. Calty’s Erwin Lui likens it to the shaker hood scoops of an earlier era. Another styling element that relates to the hybrid system are the flying buttress C-pillars, which are similar to those of the Ferrari 599GTB. Here, they direct cooling air to the car’s rear-mounted battery pack.