Toyota FT-Se idea, Tokyo Motor present 2023
Born-EV sportscar can have a handbook gearbox choice and a efficiency battery pack.
- FT-Se sits on born-EV platform
- Could get a handbook gearbox
- Will get a driver-focused cockpit
FT-Se could possibly be an EV successor to the MR2
The FT-Se – a improvement of the unnamed Toyota MR2-sized idea that was revealed in late 2021 – prioritises “handling stability and aerodynamic performance”. A key facilitator of those targets will likely be Toyota’s new-era modular structure and energy-dense battery expertise. Shared with the FT-3e SUV idea that can be on show on the identical occasion, it permits next-generation Toyota EVs to have a “low centre of gravity” with out sacrificing vary or efficiency.
“We are making battery EVs like only a true carmaker can,” says Sato. “This means revisiting the fundamentals of car making and delivering based on performance, like driving range and as well as value that only BEVs can offer. One example is making cars with both a low centre of gravity and a spacious interior, which was not possible in the past.”
He continues: “To do this, we need to make the main components much smaller and lighter and deploy our strength as a carmaker to put them together in the best package possible. Achieving this means that the design, the driving feel and everything else can be transformed.”
A defining feature for the cars that sit on this modular electric architecture is the flexibility it offers in size, shape and powertrain layout. The vehicles are split into three parts (front, centre and rear) using a new gigacasting production process that allows for more freedom of form.
New Performance battery pack
The FT-Se 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 range to around 497 miles 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, enabling a significantly lower seating position.
The new model is also set to introduce a new Arene OS, which allows its dynamic character to evolve with software updates. Revealed at the Tokyo Show, Arene “can stay up-to-date with the latest software and use vehicle data to speed up development,” says Sato.
Inside, it’s designed to be driver targeted, with two smartphone-style show screens flanking a slim yoke steering wheel. The digital instrument show is ready a lot additional away from the driving force than in current sportscars, such because the Toyota GR Supra, and is harking back to Peugeot’s i-Cockpit inside design. There are additionally newly designed knee pads, that are mentioned to “defend the physique from g-forces”, serving to to forestall the driving force from sliding within the seat throughout onerous cornering.
It is feasible that the FT-Se may function a handbook gearbox. Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda confirmed to our sister publication Autocar UK in June that the corporate was testing its first GR electrical 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 agency final yr revealed early particulars of a handbook transmission venture for upmarket model Lexus, in a bid so as to add further engagement to its future EVs. This set-up wouldn’t join on to the motor, however as an alternative simulate gearchanges by adjusting the torque settings of the electrical motor.
Chief engineer Takashi Watanabe instructed that this technique may be programmed to permit the automobile to roll again on a hill, or emulate a stall, in order that dangerous driving is punished.
Lexus beforehand confirmed that this technique is earmarked to be used within the all-electric LFA successor, whose design was previewed by the Electrified Sport Concept in 2022.