Toyota will unveil an all-new EV sportscar concept next week at the Japan Mobility Show, which is also called the Tokyo Motor Show 2023. Described by the firm as a “high-performance sports BEV [battery-electric vehicle]”, it appears to be a development of the unnamed Toyota MR2-lookalike concept that was revealed in late 2021.
- Concept FT-Se is 50mm shorter than bZ4X EV SUV
- Could get a manual gearbox
- Will share platform with FT-3e EV SUV concept
Each car is expected to draw power from Toyota's new 'Performance' lithium-ion battery pack – set to arrive in production cars in 2026 – which is claimed to increase the range to around 800km and cut costs by up to 40 percent.
Toyota previously confirmed that this battery would enable the development of electric sportscars like the FT-Se, owing to a targeted pack height of 100mm. This is 50mm shorter than the battery in the existing bZ4X SUV (also shown in India at the Delhi Auto Expo), enabling a significantly lower seating position. The FT-Se prioritises “handling stability and aerodynamic performance”, said Toyota.
The new model is also set to introduce a new software platform that allows its dynamic character to evolve with software updates. This concept shares its underpinnings with the FT-3e SUV concept that will also be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Inside, it is designed to be driver-focused, with two smartphone-style display screens flanking a narrow yoke steering wheel. The digital instrument display is set much further away from the driver than in existing sportscars, such as the Toyota GR Supra, and is reminiscent of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit interior design.
There are also newly designed knee pads, which are said to “protect the body from g-forces”, likely helping to prevent the driver from sliding in the seat during hard cornering.
It is possible that the FT-Se may also feature a manual gearbox. Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda confirmed to our sister publication Autocar UK in June that the company was testing its first GR electric sportscar, stating: “There is also a manual transmission and also a clutch. If you put someone in the car and asked them to drive it and guess the powertrain, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell you.”
The firm last year revealed early details of a manual transmission project for its upmarket brand Lexus, in a bid to add extra engagement to its future EVs. This set-up would not connect directly to the motor but instead simulate gear changes by adjusting the torque settings of the electric motor.
Expect more details on this unique concept to be revealed in the coming days.
Toyota FT-3e concept global debut on October 26 in Tokyo