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Toyota FT-HS hybrid sports car concept

Here is Toyota’s concept for the future of green sports cars, and is being seen as a spiritual successor to the Supra. The 3.5 litre V6 hybrid electric vehicle ticks all the right boxes, but just leaves us with one question – when can we buy one?

The FT-HS hybrid sports concept was shown at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. The car merges a hybrid powertrain with the essence of a sports car, for a ‘mid-range’ price.

The concept was a joint undertaking of CALTY, Toyota’s North American-based, research and design centre located in Newport Beach, California, and Toyota’s California-based Advanced Product Strategy Group. “Drivers today are not satisfied with cars that are simply fast,” said Kevin Hunter, Vice President, CALTY Design Research. “In addition to driving enjoyment, today’s drivers are concerned about safety, ecology and social responsibility.”

This two-plus-two concept is a front-engine, rear-drive sports car with a projected 0-62mph acceleration in the four-second range. A powerful V6, 3.5 litre engine is coupled with a sports hybrid system with a target power output of approximately 400 horsepower. The FT-HS hybrid is lightweight and aerodynamic, so providing excellent acceleration, and Toyota promise us that it is fun to drive.

The bonnet exposes the hybrid engine, and the roof has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and provide head room at the key areas. Made from carbon fibre Kevlar, the roof retracts and the roof panel and back window stow in the rear seat space. The seating accommodates four and then coverts to a two-seater when the roof retracts.

Toyota say that a hybrid sports car will be coming soon – but it’s not likely to be quite as radical as the FT-HS.