The Toyota FT-SX

Toyota FT-SX concept car

The Toyota FT-SX concept car was unveiled at the North American Auto Show in New York in 2005. The car attracted quite a bit of attention, partly due to its position right by the front entrance, but also due to its interesting looks. Styled in the United States, the FT-SX was developed by Calty, Toyota's California-based research and design center, and the Toyota Motor Sales Advanced Product Strategy Group. The goal was to have the space and ride height of an SUV with the comfort, handling, and efficiency of a sedan; but the ideal was to help attract younger buyers."The FT-SX concept was developed to explore a totally new genre to help create a bolder, more decisive image for Toyota," said Don Esmond, senior vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "It is a concept aimed at young families looking beyond the traditional passenger car or SUV and boomers seeking a stylish and refined reward vehicle."

"With the FT-SX, we studied the finest attributes of Toyota's successful passenger cars and SUV's and took it to the next level," said Kevin Hunter, vice president, design and studio activities at Calty Design Research, Inc. "We began with a totally new silhouette and package, lower and wider than an SUV, but taller, more comfortable, and more versatile than a sedan. Add a powerful V6, all-wheel drive, 21-inch wheels, four doors, a large, multi-function glass roof and an innovative rear hatch and you have a vehicle with exceptional functionality."

toyota ftsx concept car

The exterior design concept of the Toyota FT-SX concept car was the creation of 30-year-old Calty designer, Ian Cartabiano, who also designed the 2005 Toyota Avalon.  At more than 15 feet in length, over six feet in width and over 5 feet in height, the FT-SX delivers a stance that is both sleek and imposing.  Defined by the alignment of the headlamps, Toyota badging, and grille, the new "T-Face" establishes a memorable design theme for Toyota's future (though some may see traces of Chris Bangle). The headlamps connect with a bold new grille. Deep hood sculpting is achieved with unbroken lines elegantly sweeping down from the upper edge of the A-pillar, through the grille, and down the bumper, wrapping back around the front wheels, giving the FT-SX a wide, dynamic image presence.

A dramatic, arching roofline conveys versatility, while a fast angle, "coupe inspired" greenhouse and D-pillar suggest sporty performance. Clean and unadorned, the strength of the modern profile flows from center to rear, tying in wide, sculpted wheel well flares. Strong rocker character lines wrap around the entire car, providing a look of stability. The beltline's unbroken, razor sharp edge carries back to the exhaust.

In the rear, the tail lamps sweep around the beltline to emphasize a wide, stable stance. The FT-SX features a clean and taut surface accented by a full width exhaust in the lower bumper. A smoothly integrated rear wing extends from the belt line continuing the body side motion past the rear glass.

The innovative rear hatch offers three opening options. The upper glass hatch pivots up; the lower hatch pivots down; and the glass roof has two panels which slide towards the center, not only creating a useful loading opening, but also doubling as a rear sunroof. The door handles are subtly integrated into the beltline and open the clamshell doors at the touch of a button. Deep, acrylic lamps house new LED technology to provide a "surface-through" image. Two-piece detailed 21-inch wheels provide a counterpoint to the clean body theme.

The inviting interior was created by Calty designer Alberto Palma and exudes luxury, comfort, utility, and practicality. The fresh look is achieved with natural woods, soft leathers, and durable metals. The interior features a new sense of space defined by a "60/60" feeling for the driver and front passenger. This is achieved by overlapping seat elements that create individual space giving each the impression his space is dominant. A "flying speedboard" gauge cluster surrounds the driver with a sleek, sporty design that (like the exterior) seamlessly flows into the door and around the interior. The armrests are integrated into the seats, eliminating clutter and creating a living-room effect.

The rear cargo area is designed to fit every need, displaying a high level of quality and refinement. A loading tray automatically extends when the lower hatch is opened to assist in loading large and heavy objects.

Powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine, the FT-SX is 187 inches long, 74.4 inches wide, and 61 inches tall. It uses 21 inch wheels (though a production model would probably not go over 18 inches) with 255/45R21 tires, and has a 114 inch wheelbase.

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