After sharing teaser photos of an upcoming electric sports car concept, Toyota finally pulled the cover off of the new FT-Se at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon on Wednesday. While specific details about the car are slim, Toyota has given us plenty to drool over with this one.
Aside from being great to look at, the Toyota FT-Se is a showcase for Toyota’s next-generation battery technology. Those underpinnings will be shared with a number of other Toyota products as well. That includes the FT-3e crossover concept, which also made its debut for this year’s Tokyo festivities.
The automaker previously suggested it was working on an ultra-compact battery setup, which would use cells measuring no more than 3.9 inches in height. While we can’t be sure without the automaker’s confirmation, the overall shape of the low-slung FT-Se might be a result of that setup. Both the coupe and the crossover concept are slated to share a large number of major components, with the battery pack and motors being the most likely candidates.
Regardless of what powertrain sits beneath the skin, the new FT-Se is a properly exotic-looking car. The profile of the concept is reminiscent of a traditional mid-engine sports car, with some of its design work seemingly inspired by the now-defunct Lotus Evora. Take the tall A-pillars for example, which feed into an aggressively raked roofline before spilling into those thick reach haunches. Even the FT-Se’s front facia is similar to that of the outgoing Lotus, though with a bit of Lexus influence thrown into the mix. That’s not to take anything away from the team at Toyota. This concept represents one of the better-looking EVs we’ve seen yet.
Of course, Toyota is no stranger to the mid-engine sports car segment, having sold three generations of the MR2 between 1984 and 2007. Fans have been clamoring for the MR2's return for years at this point, with Toyota doing little to quell that desire. In fact, even chairman Akio Toyoda has shared his desire for a third sports car model to join the lineup alongside the GR86 and Supra models. Toyota fans might also recall that the GR86 was once known as the FT-86 concept, whereas the Supra was seen on show floors for years under the FT-1 moniker. If that history is anything to go on, it is quite possible that this is the long-rumored “third brother” in the sports car lineup, further hinted at by the genuine GR branding found throughout.
Hopefully, we don't have to wait too long for official word on whether or not the FT-Se will see production.
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