Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed the latest Toyota concept car – the FT-1 coupe – will be coming to Gran Turismo 6 on January 14th.
Unveiled earlier today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and created in collaboration with Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital at Toyota's Calty Design Research facilities in California, the Toyota FT-1 Concept will be added to the PlayStation 3 exclusive racing game in an update tomorrow, along with an accompanying Seasonal Event hot lap challenge.
The Seasonal Event will be hosted on Gran Turismo 6's virtual recreation of the fabled Laguna Seca racing circuit, with the FT-1 being gifted to every player who manages to beat the 'Bronze' time.
The FT-1 will also be added to the in-game Toyota dealership, for those who wish to acquire more than one version or aren't feeling confident with their ability to beat the currently-unknown 'Bronze' lap time benchmark.
In Toyota's official press statement, the FT-1 is described as the spiritual successor to the iconic 2000GT made most famous by its brief cameo in the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice" (the glasshouse is cited as by Toyota as being the FT-1's most obvious aesthetic tribute to the 60s supercar), whilst also showcasing what to expect from future Toyota sports cars. Indeed, the "FT" acronym stands for "Future Toyota".
The FT-1's design has also been heavily influenced by the contemporary automotive industry's apparent need to heaily focus on aerodynamics, with everything from the pronounced wheel arches to the retractable rear spoiler and even the positioning of the twin exhuasts in the rear bumper all a result of ensuring the drag coefficient of the FT-1 is as low as possible.
The press release's only comment on the FT-1's drivetrain is that the concept car has adopted a front-engine/rear-wheel drive layout. However, a report by the UK weekly motoring magazine Autocar claims the concept car won't showcase any hybrid technology at all, with all the power coming from a "high output" powerplant.
This hint at extreme performance is reinforced by Polyphony’s accompanying statement on the FT-1, which claims the Toyota president, Akio Toyoda, was able to lap GT6’s Fuji Speedway faster in the FT-1 than in his real-life Lexus LFA supercar
Curiously, whilst this is a collaboration of sorts between Toyota and Polyphony Digital, there was no mention of the FT-1 Concept being a part of the Vision Gran Turismo project (which Toyota is participating in, along with 27 other brands). As a result, it's highly likely we might see another concept from Japan's largest car manufacturer make its way into GT6 in the coming months.