BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news

The Toyota FT-Se is a stunning two-seat electric sportscar concept

Just don’t call it an MR2, mmkay? Radical new lightweight set to appear very soon

Published: 25 Oct 2023

Though the proportions appear that of a mid-ship layout, Toyota isn’t calling this a new Mister Two. It is in fact calling it the Toyota FT-Se: nothing to do with share indexes, everything to do with driving fun.

It’s an electric sportscar of course, imagining a near future of what a GR-branded, two-seater lightweight could look like, and what it could offer using next-gen technology. Like Toyota’s next gen ‘prismatic’ batteries announced earlier this year that offer a greater range and quicker charging over what’s currently available.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Said batteries – the same used on the new Lexus concept – are mounted nice and low in the centre of the FT-Se’s wheelbase – itself measuring in at 2.6m, a tad longer than the GR Supra.

“The batteries are in the centre of the car which makes it look like a mid-ship,” chief engineer Fumihiko Hazama told, “but it’s a new design completely.” He noted how the centre of gravity and weight distribution were both different compared to the MR2’s.

The idea with the FT-Se is for the all-wheel-drive setup to have a rear-bias, not just for better traction, Hazama-san said, but also for better cornering, more driver confidence and of course, to allow some sideways lunacy. “Many customers want to drift,” he said.

It all points to a GR-branded electric car built for drivers. Toyota boss Koji Sato noted future BEVs could feature a ‘manual’ mode too, where they simulate gearchanges. It’s something he confirmed to last year when talking about the driver engagement on the Electrified Sport concept (the LFA’s e-successor).

Advertisement - Page continues below

Speaking of engagement, Toyota’s next-gen BEVs – including this one – will all be underpinned by a new software platform they’re calling ‘Arene’. “It can use vehicle data to speed up development that meets customer needs to provide more value that delights customers,” Sato-san said. “A wide range of apps will also increase the cars’ value.”

Expect to see something like the FT-Se appear in 2027…

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Electric

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine