Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) hosted in Detroit, yesterday, Toyota’s stunning new futuristic concept car was the product of more than some car designers.

The FT-1 – a design concept, which bears the initials for Future Toyota – was born in a design studio in California, the same place that gave the world iconic Toyota models such as the Hilux and the Prius. With the FT-1 its focus was on a car that would represent the future of Toyota’s sporting models. Despite its mostly pedestrian model line-up, the Japanese manufacturer has a rich history of sports cars that remain desirable to this day. Many in the automotive industry are hailing the FT-1 as a possible successor to the Toyota Supra, the company’s mid-90s turbo sports car.

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Unlike other concept cars, though, this one wasn’t purely designed to be a design study and possible road-going model. The FT-1 is the next car in the Vision Gran Turismo project – the initiative headed up by Polyphony Digital, the developer behind the PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series of driving games, to have motor manufacturers around the world to produce exclusive cars for its latest game, Gran Turismo 6.

The Mercedes Benz Vision GT - available only in Gran Turismo 6.
The Mercedes Benz Vision GT – available only in Gran Turismo 6.

The first car in the Vision Gran Turismo project – and available at the game’s launch – was the Mercedes Benz Vision GT AMG. Not only does the car appear in the game, but there are also videos detailing its design, as well as production sketches. The Toyota FT-1 will get the same treatment when it lands as a free download for the game, today – just expect it to be a large download.

Vision Gran Turismo is aimed at having manufacturers showcase their radical concepts that might never see the light of day. This way, gamers and petrolheads have a chance to go eyes- and hands-on with fantasy cars, while manufacturers get to stretch their design muscle and gauge the feasibility of such cars. The Verge also has a behind-the-scenes look at the FT-1’s design, at Calty Design Research, that’s well worth a read.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.