When Toyota released the tail-happy GT 86 in 2012, it hinted at Toyota’s ambition to reenter the sports car realm. 2014’s outlandish FT-1 Concept reaffirmed the Japanese automaker’s craving for adrenaline, and it appears Toyota just can’t get enough.
According to a report by GT Spirit, a second FT-1 concept is being built to test the waters of potential customer interest, and a purebred racing version is on the way. This is great news for those who want to see Toyota building more performance vehicles, especially if racing FT-1 enters the Super GT Series as it is rumored to.
The Super GT Series is a grand touring racing event that began in 1993 and races all over Japan and Thailand. Teams from Honda, Lexus, BMW, Audi, and various tuning firms participate, but there aren’t many Toyota badges powering down the circuits at Autopolis.
There is one wide-body Prius racecar in the GT300 class (finally a geek-mobile I can get behind), but Toyota is otherwise absent from the event. A race-spec FT-1 would be perfectly suited for the top flight GT500 class.
Since the car is still in its infancy, details on the FT-1’s performance are limited. However, Toyota is reportedly considering turbocharged four-cylinder and turbocharged hybrid V6 units as powertrain options. According to Motor Trend’s July Issue that cited an industry source, Toyota is shooting for numbers similar to what the FT-1 in Gran Tourismo 6 puts out: 458 horsepower and a 2900 pound curb weight.
If the FT-1 follows Toyota’s trend, we may see a road going version of the concept in the coming years with more conservative styling: the original Toyota FT 86 and Lexus LF concepts eventually gave birth to the GT 86 and LFA, respectively, albeit with mellower aesthetics.
Honda is currently running a wide-body version of their NSX concept in the Super GT Series, and we know that car is headed for the production line in 2015. I know I’ll be crossing my fingers that Toyota follows suit.