Developed by Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, California, the concept vehicle’s graphite exterior paint and light, saddle-colored leather was presented at the Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival gala held on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
The exterior of this new version is finished with a Graphite metallic paint that compared to the original reed seems to be quite effective in underlining the car’s curvous shapes and vlumes, producing a richness of reflections and a high-tech, sleek effect.
The interior has a new color scheme, that changes from an all-black layout to a mix of natural leather and metallic surfaces.
While the original design was aimed at keeping the driver focused on the road, this new interpretation brings a “premium” feeling.
The warm tones of the leather are combined with metal trims and black surfaces, which include an instrument panel leather with a 3-dimensional embossed pattern technical look.
The original FT-1 concept made its debut at the North American International Auto Sho and was introduced as the “spiritual pace car for the new direction of Toyota Global Design”, taking inspiration from the company’s coupe heritage, including models like the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently Scion FR-S.
The FT-1 has been also presented in a virtual racetrack version, developed for the Vision Gran Turismo project and available from this September as a digital download for GT6 PS3 racing game. The Graphite Concept itself will be downloadable for a limited time.
Below we report a some details on the interior design, including comments by interior designer Sellene Lee.
Interior Color and Trim
“From the start of the FT-1 project, we wanted the driver to have a feeling of flow while at the wheel – to be able to focus on the road and nothing else,” said Sellene Lee, the Calty creative designer who proposed both color concepts.
“In the color studio we help create the atmosphere of the vehicle, and our aim was to ensure everything supported the driver through efficient choices. The saddle leather maintains that same ‘in the zone’ driving intention, while bringing in a more premium feeling.”
Sellene Lee drew inspiration for the FT-1 interior from the modern, high-tech performance materials used for today’s superhero costumes.
A movie poster drew her attention to the modern shift from past heroes’ bright tights and colors to today’s performance fabrics and function.
To achieve the FT-1’s advanced-looking, intricately detailed interior, Sellene Lee and the team compared leather thicknesses, grain sizes and textures to find the perfect combination. Raised metal mesh provides ventilation for the seats while lending a more textural, bold effect that beautifully matches with the metal accents. A dimensional embossed pattern on the instrument panel leather brings in a 3-D, technical look.
“From color and trim standpoint in the FT-1, there was a laser-like focus on staying true to function,” said Wendy Lee, studio chief designer at Calty. “This project was very special, as the FT-1 stands apart in its performance-driven, authentic purpose.”
Beyond her superhero performance material concept, Sellene Lee moved away from the typical stitching or piping edge treatment found in many vehicle interiors.
The painted red edges on the welded leather and painted brown edges on the second FT-1 were inspired by high-end leather bags she found in an upscale department store. When drivers sit in FT-1, they can feel the difference in materials, textures and color choices that resulted from the team’s work.