Featured Must Read: the Birth Story of the FT-1 Concept

Discussion in 'General Supra Topics' started by JT, Feb 21, 2014.

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  1. JT

    JT Administrator

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    #1 Feb 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
    I posted the pics from the Calty studio here:

    http://www.supramkv.com/threads/inside-caltys-studio-and-the-ft1-design-process.9/

    Birth of a FT-1 concept
    • March 2012: Calty makes pitch to Toyota top management
    • May 2012: Toyota gives formal go-ahead for Calty to begin work
    • June 2012: Calty team takes field trip to Las Vegas Speedway
    • June 2012: Decision made for car to be front-engine/rear-drive layout
    • July-September 2012: Exterior sketch proposals
    • July-October 2012: Packaging drawings and renderings
    • September-November 2012: 15% and 40% scale clay models
    • December 2012-February 2013: Full-sized milled “hard” model
    • March 2013: Toyota top management OKs concept
    • May-June 2013: Calty “nip-and-tuck” of full-sized hard model
    • Summer 2013: Concept name decided: FT-1
    • July-November 2013: Fabrication of show car
    • January 2014: Unveiling of car at Detroit auto show
     
  2. TorqueRules

    TorqueRules Well-Known Member

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    Calty is top notch. Awesome post, thanks for putting it up.
     
  3. Loyo911

    Loyo911 Well-Known Member

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    Great read! Wish I was a fly on the wall at the studio... talk about a dream job.
     
  4. 910ps

    910ps Well-Known Member

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    It makes sense not only because of the toyota connection but look at the design. It's got a lot of similar lines... altho the FT1 is way more stunning IMO.

    13-scion-fr-s-concept-ny-1303323969.jpg



    toyota-ft-1-concept-salon-de-detroit-2014-11071437nnnwd.jpg
     
  5. FRS-Man

    FRS-Man Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting that Five Axis played a role in the design. Does make sense tho..for anyone not familiar, they made the FR-S concept.

    They also supply the factory Scion body kits and wheels.
     
  6. Supra93

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    Toyota (Official): Toyota FT-1 Press Release and Overview Video



     
  7. <TC OFF>

    <TC OFF> Well-Known Member

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    Had no idea until reading this too.

    The FR-S concept was just stunning, so Five Axis now has a great recent track record when it comes to putting together gorgeous Toyota concepts.
     
  8. NeroZ

    NeroZ Active Member

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    The Five Axis made FR-S concept was still the best looking one, even better than the actual production model and I say that as an owner. Their kit and wheels for the FR-S are just about my favorite ones too (but pricy).

    Hope Toyota keeps them involved when making the updated concepts and for the final production Supra.
     
  9. 323 Rider

    323 Rider Well-Known Member

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    Almost 2 full years from the first pitch to the concept debut. Wish someone could update this timeline to let us know if the production car has been approved and if/when a production concept has started.
     
  10. black-supra

    black-supra Well-Known Member

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    #10 Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2015
    Article on how car and video game makers have collaborated. Special mention of the Toyota FT-1 concept :headbang:

    http://www.thenational.ae/arts-life...convergence-of-video-games-and-carmakers#full

    Pixelate my ride – the convergence of video games and carmakers

    January 8, 2015

    The car industry has, haltingly, finally started to embrace the digital age. It’s still a tentative embrace – more an embarrassed man hug, in many cases – but those ones and zeros are gradually becoming an integral part of every aspect of the carmakers’ businesses.

    These days, no new model can be made without the aid of computers, from the computer-aided design (CAD) in the studios to the precision required by engineers designing and testing componentry.

    Showrooms are also embracing digital technology, with many now offering tools to help you spec your car, on a tablet or, in some cases, some very sophisticated, multi-gesture, multi-screen technology. And connected car technology is becoming increasingly important to cars and car buyers, as cars become an important part of the “internet of things” phenomenon.

    But there’s another use of digital technology that car manufacturers are increasingly using as a way of making their products more relevant and attractive to a generation of consumers who have hitherto been immune to the industry’s enticements. Carmakers have learnt that if you want to get cars and car brands seen by the under-35-year-old demographic, you need to place them in a video game.

    The global video-game industry is currently valued at about US$93 billion (Dh341.6bn), with an estimated 1.78bn gamers worldwide. Throughout the history of video games, car-racing role-playing games have always been hugely popular, from 1973’s Speed Race (developed by Tomohiro Nishikado, who later went to design Space Invaders) to the highly developed, graphically complex driving simulators of today.

    At the same time, millennial consumers – those born between 1982 and the turn of the millennium – have increasingly become less interested in cars and driving. For example, in the previously car-reliant/dependent United States, the number of cars purchased by people between the ages of 18 and 34 from 2007 to 2011 fell almost 30 per cent. And, in a major break with the past, a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered that only 44 per cent of teenagers obtain a driver’s licence within the first year of becoming eligible and just 54 per cent are licensed before turning 18.

    It’s the same in Japan, where a survey of 1,700 20- and 30-something consumers by Nihon Shimbun, the country’s biggest business newspaper, found that the proportion of men in their 20s who wanted a car fell from 48 per cent in 2000 to 25 per cent in 2007. The number of drivers under 30 also halved between 1993 and 2005.

    The story is repeated in Europe. Figures from the Department for Transport in the car-mad United Kingdom also show that the proportion of 17- to 20-year-olds with driving licences had fallen from 48 per cent in 1993 to 31 per cent in 2011: the proportion of 21- to 29-year-olds similarly fell from 75 per cent to 63 per cent over the same period.

    All over the developed world, young people no longer see the car as the liberating force that it has traditionally been. They don’t need it to go and see their friends – Skype fulfils that function – and growing up with the message that cars are contributing to climate change means that they see the act of eschewing the car as the environmental responsibility of a good global citizen.

    At the same time, they can get their driving kicks virtually through the increasingly sophisticated games they play on PlayStations and Xboxes. The likes of Forza Motorsport, Need for Speed and Gran Turismo offer incredibly realistic graphics and a thoroughly immersive experience. Most real-world driving is nowhere near as exciting or involving as a video game, so it’s not surprising that many of the young people who have been playing these games since their teens are unmoved by the thought of obtaining a licence.

    It has dawned on carmakers that video games are an ideal platform to market their brands to gamers, planting the seed of desirability at a young age, hoping that it will flower into a purchasing decision at some point in the (often distant) future.

    So from a point where some manufacturers wouldn’t allow their cars to be used in early video games, now they’re not only engaging with the game creators, but are being proactive in ensuring that their latest models appear in games. The car companies are not even waiting to put cars into production before placing them in video games: these days, you can even virtually drive a concept car.

    This isn’t an entirely new phenomenon: 2002’s Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva allowed gamers to race concept cars from that year’s Tokyo and Geneva motor shows. But it was taken to a new level in 2014 when Toyota’s FT-1 concept was unveiled at the Detroit motor show and then available to download for virtual use in Gran Turismo the following day.

    Indeed, the digitising of the car was an integral part of the process of the concept’s creation. The design team at Toyota’s Calty Design Research studio in California worked with Gran Turismo’s creators, Polyphony Digital, to bring the FT-1 to life in a virtual world. Toyota executives were then offered the opportunity to take the FT-1 for a timed lap around a computer-generated representation of Japan’s Fuji Speedway circuit. Behind the wheel of the concept, the Toyota president Akio Toyoda (an experienced race-car driver himself) completed the virtual circuit faster than his best real-world lap time at Fuji in a Lexus LFA supercar, which convinced him to sign off the concept. The fact that the virtual FT-1 preceded the actual car displayed in real life meant that Toyota could distribute it to gamers around the world almost as soon as they read about it on car websites (and before they read about it in traditional print magazines). It obviously helped that the futuristic FT-1 sports coupé is exactly the kind of car that will appeal to young, (predominantly) male racing gamers.


    Obviously gaming has evolved in recent years, so consoles are not the only game platform in town. Games on mobile devices (where users are prepared to pay for gaming apps) are the fastest-growing segment of the market, with revenue set to rise between 2013 and 2015 from $13.2bn to $22bn, according to Gartner Research. The car companies have this covered, too, developing their own branded racing game apps.

    Volkswagen, for example, has developed Challenge games for a number of its models, including the Touareg, Golf, Scirocco, Polo and Up. These are racing games that allow gamers to put themselves in the cars – and allow the German carmaker to have a presence on the gamer’s device, reinforcing their brand message every time they look at the desktop screen. Admittedly, the gamer will almost inevitably become bored of the game and delete it, but by then the subconscious connection has been made between the model/brand and a fun experience.

    So car companies are obviously expending a great deal of energy and resource in trying to influence potential consumers, building brand relationships that will bear fruit in the future. But is this also a two-way street? Will attempting to appeal to gamers result in car companies designing real cars influenced by video games?

    This process has arguably already started with a project initiated by Polyphony Digital. Vision Gran Turismo, which celebrates the game’s 15th anniversary, involves a host of car manufacturers designing unique two-door grand tourers to appear in Gran Turismo 6, a challenge that a number of them have fully embraced. Ten carmakers – Mercedes-Benz AMG, BMW, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Aston Martin, Toyota, Subaru, Chevrolet and Infiniti – have already unveiled their cars, with the likes of Audi, Honda, Ford, Hyundai, Mini and Lamborghini still to release designs that they hope will wow the gaming generation.

    It’s clear from the cars already available that the manufacturers have included features that will appeal to gamers. For example, the Mercedes has an engine note that has been “composed” by sound specialists at AMG, which will no doubt sound glorious for serious gamers with a TV connected to a soundbar speaker. The Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution model, meanwhile, appeals to the green sensibilities of younger gamers, caring as it does for the virtual environment with a plug-in electric hybrid system.

    The design teams behind these virtual concepts have clearly thought long and hard about what young gamers/future consumers want to see in a car: Aston Martin’s designers spent a full six months on its DP-100, hand-sketching and 3-D modelling, followed by fully realising it in the virtual world. They’ve taken the process seriously, seeing the process of designing for the gaming crowd (and gaining their approval) as part of the process of designing future real-world cars – the company says that some of the design cues visible in DP-100, such as the light blade rear lamps, could also feed through into forthcoming production sports cars.

    Toyota’s contribution is an updated version of the FT-1 – yes, a concept car that hasn’t even become part of the model line-up and it has already been revised, just like a production car.

    The connection to the real world is tangible if you look at the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, then look at the recently launched Mercedes-AMG GT. There’s a clear relationship between the virtual car and the real one: the wheel arches aren’t quite as lairy and the roof is lower to the ground, but they’re definitely siblings.

    Designing for a game – or simulator – such as Gran Turismo, which has sold more than 70 million copies since its launch in 1997, is clearly a valuable exercise for the carmakers. The close relationship they now have with the game designers, and their ability to monitor gamer forums, means that they can use feedback from gamers to inform future models, in the hope that if they build it, they will come (to the showrooms).

    The cars of the future will be subject to all kinds of new influences and technologies, but buyers’ expectations will undoubtedly be moulded, in part, by their experiences today on virtual roads and tracks. Add augmented reality displays on windscreens into the mix and drivers of the future could find themselves forgetting if they’re digital or analogue.
     
  11. divinesteer

    divinesteer Well-Known Member

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    It's good for everyone, just like how they use 3D printers more and more for parts and prototypes. It's a cheap way to test out parts and performance before investing billions. The lead time from concept to production cuts down big time too.
     
  12. FXuser

    FXuser Member

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    Lesson learned by everyone at Toyota: give Akio Toyoda a ringer of a video game race car so he'll approve it :)

    Now they need to actually make the badass Vision Gran Turismo FT-1 into a real life concept car.
     
  13. supraninja

    supraninja Well-Known Member

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    Feasibility study done and onto the concept stage. It's about as close to a green light for production as we have right now. As this was just announced I would not expect a "real" concept anytime soon.

    http://www.supramkv.com/threads/news-bmw-ft1-supra-project-moves-into-concept-stage.23/
     
  14. Hal

    Hal Member

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    I love how fast info moves these days and would never choose to go back to before the internet, but anyone get nostalgic when thinking back to waiting for the next issue of a car magazine to show up in their mailboxes?

    Nowadays you can even drive a concept car virtually before you get to see it in person.
     
  15. Hal

    Hal Member

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