The new Supra Is Curiously Close To The FT-1 In Terms Of Design

The process of maturing from the Concept phase to the production phase usually entails a dramatic design transformation of a car. Not so in the case of the new 2020 Toyota Supra A90. With the design heavily based around the Toyota FT-1 Concept, I can clearly say that Toyota designers are brazen. Under the engineering hand of Tetsuya Tada, the Supra’s design team managed to capture all the important styling cues from the FT-1 and successfully translate them into the production car. At least judging by the one leaked photo that revealed the front end of the new Supra. Sure, the photo was captured in a transportation wagon, probably headed for Detroit, but it does reveal main cues rooted in the design of the FT-1 that was unveiled five years ago at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

So, how does exactly the new 2020 Toyota Supra A90 compare with the Toyota FT-1 Concept?


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First of all, the FT-1 was received with a really, really warm welcome by everyone when it debuted. All the way back then I knew that I am looking at the car that’s soon to become the new Toyota Supra. But I did not have a clue just how much Toyota’s designer Tada-San will keep. As he is kinda all-in the Supra fandom, I think he did all he possibly could to create something that the Supra fanboys will like.

In that regard, the new Toyota Supra is close to the Toyota FT-1 in terms of exterior design. However, I am rather curious to find out what’s different!?

Visual Comparison: the 2020 Toyota Supra vs the Toyota FT-1 High Resolution Exterior
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Before I get to that, I have to address this nose. It is the centerpiece of the whole front end design, and, somehow, I feel that everything else was designed around it. In my comparison article of the new Supra vs. the new Z4, I said that the nose on the Supra looks a lot like the nose of certain F1 cars. Now, my mind wandered from the race tracks to the streets, and I remember that the AMG SLK 55 had an F1 inspired nose. The McLaren-Mercedes SLR did as well. Not that I am trying to praise Toyota on purpose, but personally, this front end on a production Supra looks kinda neater than on Mercedes sports cars.

Compared with the FT-1 that had a closed nose, the one on the production car is actually open and acts as an intake.

On the other hand, side intakes on the bumpers aren’t as ostentatious as they were. There aren’t any fans behind them either. Only a honeycomb grille pattern and a tunnel that presumably leads towards the brakes for better cooling. FYI, after the front fenders, you can expect vents for a more effective release of the pressure built inside the wheel wells.

That is not what we are seeing in this picture though. What I see is a rather massive front splitter that should greatly affect stability at high speeds. Plus, that gorgeous double bubble roof. It is not as pronounced as on the FT1 Concept, but the bubble roof is there. I am satisfied.


Back in 2014, Toyota Calty Design Research President commented on the release of the FT-1.

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"Sports cars represent the ultimate driving expression in its purest form. As car enthusiasts ourselves, this is the kind of project we dream about working on," said Calty Design Research President Kevin Hunter. "Beyond its obvious five-alarm visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota Global Design. This provocative concept truly captures the passion, excitement, and energy of the Toyota we are evolving into and embodies elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs."

With this comment, Kevin Hunter acknowledged that Toyota is on a path it hasn’t been on for ages. The path of sexiness. Call me crazy, but I do think the new Supra is/will be sexy. Designer’s basically copied the front lights of the 2014 FT-1 Concept onto the 2020 Toyota Supra. Ok, the production lights are a bit closer to the ground, and this means they aren’t as slim as on the concept, but the basic shape is there. Plus, I doubt Toyota will offer them in LED tech for the entry-level models.

Visual Comparison: the 2020 Toyota Supra vs the Toyota FT-1 High Resolution Exterior
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Ok, I agree that the bulbous and muscled front fenders aren’t as bulbous and muscled up on the Supra as on the FT-1 Concept, but again, the same idea is there. And it has been tailored quite well.

Bear in mind that we only have one photo for now. When more becomes available, I am positive we will find more similarities than differences between the FT-1 and the Supra.

One more thing, don’t expect the Supra to be as low and as wide as the FT-1. Yeah, it would look cool, but it isn’t feasible in the real world. Deal with it.

We will update this article as soon as official 2020 Toyota Supra A90 photos become available.

Further Reading

2019 Toyota Supra Exterior Spyshots
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Toyota Supra

Visual Comparison: the 2020 Toyota Supra vs the Toyota FT-1 High Resolution Exterior
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Looks familiar, right? Check out our full review of the 2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept

What do you think?
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