TOKYO MOTOR SHOW: Toyota FT-Se electric sports car unveiled

Toyota president says he wants to revive the Celica – is that what we’re looking at here?

The Toyota FT-Se unveiled at the 2023 Tokyo Mobility Show today is an electric sports car concept designed to preview “one of the options for sports cars in the carbon-neutral era”, according to the Japanese car-maker.

Technical details are few, other than that it shares major components with the Toyota FT-3e SUV concept also uncloaked today, but the FT-Se apparently incorporates the expertise gained by Toyota Gazoo Racing’s motorsport endeavours, such as its hybrid World Rally Championship and World Endurance Championship campaigns.

While originally thought to tease an all-electric Toyota Supra replacement, the FT-Se’s proportions and positioning lend credence to Toyota president Koji Sato’s comments that “I want to revive the Celica”, though its sleek bodywork could also happily wear an MR2 badge.

Given Toyota has revived its 86 and Supra models, pulling further iconic nameplates from its back catalogue would make sense as it seeks to expand the Gazoo Racing brand, especially as trademark applications have been made in recent times to protect the Celica name.

Whatever its future holds, the FT-Se’s battery powertrain and low-slung layout guarantee a favourable centre of gravity to aid handling, the electric motor (or motors) will provide plenty of performance and the car can “continue to grow with the driver through software updates”.

Inside, the fully digital cockpit has the instrument display mounted low to improve visibility and kneepads are incorporated to help the driver hold themselves in place under high g-loadings.

While the FT-Se previews an all-electric sports car, Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, says the brand is sticking with its multi-pathway strategy towards carbon neutrality.

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