Gran Turismo has raised the bar when it comes to the driver experience and blurring the lines between reality and the virtual video game world. With programs like the GT Academy, GPS Visualization and the Gran Turismo Concepts ensure that Sony’s role in video games as entertainment is taking on new life every day.
We’ve brought you coverage of some concept cars and hot rods, and come January 14th Toyota will be adding their hat to the stable of concepts in GT6. Announced Monday the FT-1 ( short for Future Toyota ) portends the possible re-entry of the Toyota supercar to replace the legendary Toyota Supra, which was discontinued in 1998.
President of Toyota’s Calty Design Research Group, Kevin Hunter expounded on the role of the FT-1 concept and how it would affect what consumers saw from Toyota. The FT-1 concept has many styling and performance cues that “Toyota will imprint on future designs,” stated Kevin Hunter, and that “This is the type of project we dream of working on.”
“Thanks to the amazing capability of the Gran Turismo game engine, gamers can enjoy a very real simulation piloting the ultra-high performance FT-1 on the tracks it was designed to master,”
The Calty Design Research Group was primarily responsible for the aggressively styled FT-1, with help from key members of the Polyphony team and development team to fully integrate the game’s physics and overall design. How much they leaned on the input from the GT6 team is not known, but the new Toyota FT-1 is one of the more extremely bold and sizzling concepts we’ve seen of late.
At first blush everything on the car looks like it’s gotten the super size treatment right out of the gate with 21 inch wheels and a front fascia that looks like it could eat a small child. Swooping air ducts force incoming air directly to the engine and brakes from the vents incorporated into the front bumper while the rear diffuser and automatic spoiler as well as the side mirrors look to add downforce.
LED headlights and a transparent panel with HUD display and graphics give the driver real-time car inputs and values in a cutting-edge form factor. The top of the steering wheel gives the driver feedback as well as information, displaying the car’s driving mode as well as what gear it’s in.
One thing we can’t seem to find is a shifter, or a console or a clutch pedal for that matter which suggests that Toyota has a sequential automated dual clutch or a fully automatic CVT type of transmission. Unfortunately Toyota seems very guarded about the details of this car and won’t release any specifications for it.
While we may have to wait and see what can come from this concept, if anything that we could ultimately drive or purchase, gamers will get their shot on January 14th in a form of DLC for the next-gen console. Toyota went on to elaborate that Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota approved the concept through the game version of the car, yet another level and layer to the realism and work poured into each and every GT Vision Car.
The senior vice president at Toyota USA commented that the presence of the FT-1 would give a boost to Toyota’s sales around the world.
“I’d love to have the car tomorrow,”Carter said. “It excites emotion for the brand.”
Toyota’s total U.S. sales rose 7.4 percent in2013, slower than the industrywide gain of 7.6 percent, which could have spurred the concept into motion.
Meanwhile the Gran Turismo line continues to lead the development of the world’s coolest concepts, from Mercedes, Audi and many more manufacturers promising concepts that will push the envelope as much as the FT-1 has. And with over 1,300 cars and 35+ tracks the early edge certainly seems to lie with Sony and Polyphony versus the Microsoft Forza brand.
But until then racers and enthusiasts alike will have to wait for this much anticipated Toyota FT-1, whose DLC will also include a unique seasonal event revolving around the FT-1 to expand the game’s playability. With a bronze or better in the FT-1 challenge at Laguna Seca and you will receive the car, or you can buy the car from Toyota dealership in the simulator without having to complete the seasonal event.
We’ll be waiting with baited breath, and hopefully with some luck and time Toyota will bring us a true successor to the remarkable turbocharged 2JZGTE powered Supra.
Happy Boosting ( Or gaming! )
- Pro Street Staff