Toyota FT-Se Concept Revealed - Is This The Next Toyota MR2?

Toyota has revealed a show car that further evolves the Sports EV concept of 2021
Toyota FT-Se Concept Revealed - Is This The Next Toyota MR2?

What you’re looking at here might just be the next Toyota MR2. Called the Toyota FT-Se, the car might well look familiar. Revealed at the Japan Mobility Show (formerly the Tokyo Motor Show), it's a further evolution of the Sports EV, which Toyota and Lexus revealed along with 14 other concepts in late 2021.

Toyota describes it as a “high-performance sports BEV [battery electric vehicle] model proposed as one of the options for sports cars in the carbon-neutral era” that shares “major components” with another concept simultaneously revealed - the SUV-like FT-3e (below).

The FT-Se shares "major components" with the FT-3e
The FT-Se shares "major components" with the FT-3e

It sounds like it’s going to be rather quick in the corners, as Toyota has felt the need to put knee pads in the cockpit to “protect the body from G-forces during driving”. The instrument panel has been set deliberately low for better visibility, and features a yoke-style steering wheel.

“Toyota believes that future mobility will go beyond providing physical transportation tools to becoming a lifestyle partner closely aligned with each customer's individual values,” the Japanese manufacturer explains. What Toyota hasn’t said is what the name means, although previously ‘FT’ has stood for ‘future’, and was most notably used for the FT-1, which went on to become the GR Supra.

Teaser images revealed the FT-Se's yoke
Teaser images revealed the FT-Se's yoke

For now, that’s about all we know, but the new Toyota sports car rumour mill has been churning out all sorts of claims that may or may not be related to the FT-Se. 

Fourth-generation Toyota MR2 powertrain rumours

Although the FT-Se concept is clearly labelled as a BEV, there have been plenty of rumours suggesting Toyota is making a combustion-powered sports car. According to one report from Japan’s Best Car magazine, sitting in the middle of the car will be the 1.6-litre inline-three turbo engine that currently powers the GR Corolla.

The ‘G16E-GTS’ unit, which also powers the GR Yaris in a lower state of tune, would turn the fourth-generation MR2 into a fitting tribute for the powerful and rather scary W20 MR2 Turbo models. In the GR Corolla, it’s good for 296bhp.

Toyota FT-Se Concept Revealed - Is This The Next Toyota MR2?

The new model won't arrive until 2026, and is to be Toyota’s last combustion-powered sports car, Best Car reckons. There is a bit catch to all this, though, and that’s that the publication also claims it’ll be reserved for the Japanese Domestic Market only.

That’d be a shame, but we can’t take this news as concrete just yet. After all, it wasn’t long ago that another report claimed Toyota was working with Suzuki on a 1.0-litre engine for the new MR2. Or, of course, it could end up being all-electric, as suggested by the FT-Se.

Toyota FT-Se Concept Revealed - Is This The Next Toyota MR2?

A new MR2 has been talked about for years, but the hype was kicked into snap oversteer at the tail end of 2021, when Toyota revealed the Sports EV concept. It had the right sort of footprint and the kind of cab-forward silhouette to make us immediately think ‘MR2’. We were hopeful for a production version, too, with then-CEO Akio Toyoda pledging to make showroom-ready versions of most of the 15 cars in the next few years.

Remote video URL

Furthermore, Toyota’s senior general manager of design Simon Humphries noted in a presentation video that “car fans like Akio Toyoda will certainly not be disappointed,” coinciding with footage of the small sports car. That sounded an awful lot like a hint. 



I really like how this looks! I think that this could be a great opportunity for Toyota to possibly be the first to enter the affordable ev sports car market.

12/16/2021 - 13:18 |
2 | 0


Sponsored Posts