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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.

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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 TopGear.com, “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 TopGear.com last year when talking about the driver engagement on the Electrified Sport concept (the LFA’s e-successor).

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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…

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