2010 Chicago Auto Show: Toyota FT-CH Concept


Toyota’s FT series of concepts first rolled out with the splendiferous 2007 FT-HS, a look at what a 21st century Supra might look like, hybrid powertrain and all. Unfortunately, that little experiment was ill-timed with the economic forces to which Toyota swayed. The second FT was the FT-86, so named because it is meant to recall the affordability and rear-driven wheels of the AE86 Corolla. This was a preview of the 2012 Celica that Toyota hopes will bring a pulse back to the brand. Now, the third FT concept is here with the “CH” moniker, likely referring to “compact hybrid”, but that’s just a wild guess. The styling was executed at Toyota’s European Design Centre in France and the design cues are targeted at the “8-bit generation” who grew up playing 8-bit video games, the company claims. Uh, so I guess that’s me. And what could go better with an 8-bit design philosophy but an 8-bit soundtrack. Sure, it’s kinda annoying, but so are the hipsters that my generation has created.

If such a car were to reach production, it would likely do so as an expansion of the Prius brand. After all, if consumers and manufacturers have learned nothing in the last few years, it’s that the “Prius” badge sells cars, not the “Hybrid” badge. The FT-CH is a smaller car than the mid-size Prius, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it came to market with the Prius Urban nameplate, or some such marketing drivel. Enjoy this 360˚ preview of the mini-Prius because it could be exactly what the market ordered, minus the unintended acceleration and hipster luxury nameplate.

[author via YouTube]