Toyota wants teenage boys to daydream about hybrids, apparently.
The FT-HS hybrid sports concept car will be premiered on January 7 at the North American International Auto Show, and we can expect 50:50 weight distribution and a 400+ horsepower monster with a drivetrain very similar to the Lexus GS 450h: a 3.5 liter V6 coupled to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system (which could mean SULEV emissions, but no word on fuel economy yet). This could be the next Supra.What is interesting is not the direct impact of this car on the environment, though we can expect it to be better than the "traditional" V8 gasoline-powered sports cars it will compete against (a lesser evil). No, the interesting thing is the "halo" effect it could have, making hybrids cool and desirable to a new public. Even if they never end up buying that particular model, they'll notice the technology and associate it with something they want instead of something they don't.
And while they're at it, why not make the regular hybrid version come by default with the $30 sensor that would allow it to be flex fuel (run on an 85/15 mix of ethanol/gasoline).
And while the concept makes extensive use of pricy materials like carbon fiber and aluminum, the FT-HS is expected to portend a toned-down production variant. There’s some debate about what segment said vehicle would play in, as well as name and cost, but Toyota says it is
fantasizing aboutprojecting a price tag of around $35,000 and a 0-60 mile-per-hour time of around 4 seconds. (source)
Update: Thanks to Matt H. for pointing out this video about the Toyota FT-HS at Road and Track. It mostly talks about the design of the concept car.
Lets not forget that this is still a concept car, so a lot of things could be changed before it is sold. More will be known about it after January 7th. Stay tuned.
Via ::Looking To Establish Enthusiast Credibility, Toyota Previews FT-HS Concept, ::Toyota FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept, ::Toyota FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept
Standard car article advice: Walk, cycle, carpool, take public transit, car-share, telecommute. Try to live close to the things you need and to where you work. But if you have to own a car, get the most efficient model that fills your needs, drive sanely, combine trips, keep it in good mechanical condition and keep your tires properly inflated.