Toyota FT-HS Concept Reveal
Toyota/Lexus International Media Reception
2007 NAIAS, Detroit
Sunday, January 7, 2007 6:30 PM
Riverview Ballroom, Cobo Hall
Jim Lentz - TMS Executive Vice President
Kevin Hunter - Calty Design Research Vice President
Good evening and welcome to Toyota's International Media Reception. We're glad you could join us. We're looking forward to this year because 2007 marks two major milestones in our history.
First, Toyota will celebrate its 70th anniversary as a company. And second, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Toyota in America.
I can't think of a better way to kick off both celebrations than to be here with you in Detroit, the heart of the auto industry in the world's greatest automotive market.
This year, we have some great news to share with you.
Earlier today, you got your first look at our amazing new Tundra CrewMax. It's the capstone on a new full-size truck line-up that's been seven years in the making. We carefully listened to our customers and have high hopes it will meet the needs of hard-working people everywhere.
Tomorrow, you will see two exciting new cars from Lexus that make a dramatic statement of performance. The vehicles include the all-new IS-F performance sports sedan. I like to say that the "F" stands for "fast," but it also stands for an exciting new "future" for Lexus.
Now, along with exciting new ventures in trucks and performance cars, Toyota has also been a strong global force in the development of environmentally advanced vehicles and particularly gas-electric hybrids.
No other technology available today does as much for the environment and petroleum conservation as hybrids. They are much more than just a "bridge" to the future, they are the future. And we're in the process of proving it by putting them on the road in various forms to the delight of customers the world over.
It started a decade ago when we introduced the world's first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius. It's been a huge hit and we've already sold more than three-quarters of a million worldwide.
But we didn't stop there. We also introduced the world's first luxury hybrid SUV, the first hybrid seven-passenger SUV, the first hybrid rear-drive sports sedan, the first hybrid in America's best-selling car, and, this spring, we'll introduce the world's first V8 luxury hybrid.
Hybrids are amazingly flexible and we plan to keep pushing the envelope in terms of efficiency, performance, style and fun.
And that last one, fun, is what tonight is all about.
We think it's high time to have a lot more fun with hybrids, so we have a special New Year's surprise for you, a tasty hybrid sports car concept.
And to tell you all about it, please welcome one of our top global designers, the leader of our North American Calty design studio, Kevin Hunter. Kevin…
-- KEVIN HUNTER --
Thanks Jim. Good evening everyone.
Over the last year, our Calty Design Studio has been working on a project that addresses a question of interest to just about everyone in this room:
"What is a suitable…and appropriate…sports car for the 21st Century?"
Drivers today are not satisfied with cars that are simply fast. In addition to driving enjoyment, today's drivers are concerned about safety, ecology and social responsibility.
The concept we have been working on for the last year, the FT-HS, addresses both emotion and ecology, by integrating hybrid capabilities while enhancing the essential sports car fundamentals.
FT-HS is a front-engine, rear-drive, two-plus-two sports car. Its performance target is 400 horsepower, utilizing an ultra-high performance, ultra-fuel-efficient, and ultra low-emission 3.5-liter V6 hybrid electric powertrain.
Currently a pure concept, the FT-HS would feature a new-generation sports hybrid system designed to achieve revolutionary acceleration that only a hybrid can provide. Zero-to-60 acceleration is projected to be in the four-second range. At a mid-priced market position, FT-HS would be a true "attainable exotic" with 21st Century performance.
The FT-HS concept targets an emerging buyer- a buyer who grew up eco-conscious, who perceives technology as a necessity, not a luxury.
The priorities of this emerging sports car enthusiast inspired us to pursue a completely new design direction.
Ladies and gentlemen…the Toyota FT-HS concept.
FT-HS expresses the core values of a Toyota design strategy that combines two key elements: J-Factor, and Vibrant Clarity.
J-Factor is the conceptual umbrella. It refers to the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural sensibilities.
Vibrant Clarity, on the other hand is the design language used to express the J-Factor, much in the same way that L-Finesse is the language of the Lexus Division.
Vibrant Clarity is defined as perfect imbalance, integrated component architecture, and free-form geometrics.
The FT-HS profile exhibits perfect imbalance. It is dynamic, yet stable, and the triangle definition hints at Toyota Hybrid identity.
Freeform geometrics define the integration of fluid surfaces contrasting hard edge "Aero Corners" which promote smooth airflow and reduce turbulence. It all adds up to greater stability in high-speed driving.
Integrated component architecture can be seen in the aerospace inspired lighting. The tail lamp unit spans the entire rear, and has an integrated retractable spoiler.
The result of these three elements is an overall theme we refer to as subtractive mass, a minimalist style that is not only lightweight, but looks lightweight, as well.
For example, the hood features a scalloped channel exposing the hybrid engine. The roof has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and provide head room at the key areas. The front and rear have been sculpted to remove mass around key functional components.
FT-HS also features a new open-top system with innovative roof storage offering open-air driving pleasure while maintaining structural rigidity.
The interior is designed to create a dedicated driver's cockpit within the overall interior. All of the important functions and details are presented almost exclusively to the driver.
Subtractive mass is expressed in the interior components. The delta-wing driver's pod integrates many useful functions into a lightweight structural unit. The driver's pod also utilizes a touch-tracer interface to speed driver-activation of secondary functions.
A unique telescoping hub-less steering wheel system incorporates semi-automatic paddle shifters. The open hub design allows the meter to be shifted forward in order to shorten the driver's focus-time between the road and meter.
Seating is optimized for a lightweight appearance and function. The seats leave only the important contact points while cutting away unnecessary bulk and weight.
FT-HS re-defines the sports car experience not only with styling but also in function and performance.
The FT-HS achieves both eco-friendly and emotion in a sports car, and is Toyota' answer to the question "What is a suitable sports car for the 21st Century?"
Before we close, I'd like to introduce our design team…Erwin Lui...Alex Shen...William Chergosky...Tom Matsumoto...Jin Kim...and Chiharu Tamura.
Thank you all for joining us this evening. Please feel free to come up on stage for a closer look at the FT-HS. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you might have.