Toyota is known for its extravagant unveils, and impressive prototypes, so the car world anticipated the company’s rumored release of its second-generation FT-1 concept car. This follows the recent public showing of the first concept car in January.
Both generations of the FT-1 were placed between super cars and lear jets, which is an understandable approach for these particular cars. The location of the vehicles — literally displayed among other elite machines, as well as the release event’s Monterrey, CA site, which is across the ocean from Japan — made for an attractive photo op.
FT-1 Concept: Get Out the Paint Brushes
But the question remained: will there be more than one FT-1 concept car this year? Toyota has a track record of concept car reproductions. In the last 41 years, the concept car department has only asked to recreate a concept car twice — the first was for the Lexus LF LC, and this is the second.
So what is the big difference that caused Toyota’s concept car department to produce a second edition? Would you believe color? The auto giant decided to make a monumental change in normal operating procedures to change both interior and exteriors. The exterior is coated with graphite gray, the interior is a type of red called “saddle” by Toyota.
According to Kevin Hunter, president of Calty, the company behind both FT-1 concepts, “It can really change your perception of it, the value of it, with just a simple thing like painting it a different color. The width of this car and some of the proportions are certainly extreme. In an auto show environment, things tend to shrink down so we try to go a little bigger than reality. As far as production capability, we don’t worry about it [on a show car] because we’re making a concept car. There are new exciting proportions coming that the public hasn’t seen and this is part of it.”
The first FT-1 concept car was originally priced at $60,000 for parts and labor. This amount is nowhere close to what some Toyota enthusiasts would be willing to pay for this bad boy if they wanted a supra engine or supercharger. Also, people with a knack for being the “only one who has this car” will be attracted to bid more. And there’s always the people willing to pay the most for it just to say they did.
“We create these as theater. We want it to be believable within a certain understanding so that when somebody looks at this car they can imagine it on the road,” Hunter explained. “We don’t want to create space ships that look like science fiction. We try to create a balance with just the right amount of stuff to get everybody excited but it pushes the envelope that on a show car stage it looks dramatic.”