The Toyota FT-Se concept has been revealed at the Japan Mobility Show, giving us a two-seater, handling-biased sportscar that is being compared to the mid-engined MR2 that ceased production in 2007.
Although Toyota has revealed little about the new car's power or drivetrain, the BEV prioritises aerodynamics and handling stability. It's also a shop window for Toyota's new energy-dense 'Performance' lithium-ion battery pack. Its slim design – at 100mm tall, the FT-Se's battery is half the height of the battery in the bZ4X SUV – means the FT-Se can have squat styling reminiscent of Toyota midship motors of old and a low centre of gravity.
The new battery is 40 per cent cheaper to produce than current technology allows and also gives the FT-Se a range of nearly 500 miles.
Toyota's new-era modular architecture offers plenty of flexibility in terms of size, shape and powertrain layout, as the company demonstrated by unveiling the FT-3e SUV, which shares the same underpinnings as the FT-Se sportscar.
But while practical matters are first and foremost in the company's planning, Toyota is keen to ensure that FT-Se is also fun and gets swathes of technology that aim to ensure that. Handling can be refined using over-the-air Arene software updates. The car's also rumoured to get a manual gearbox and technology that emulates a mechanical clutch, with torque dips between 'gear' changes. Toyota could even programme the car to stall if it's not driven smoothly, rewarding good driving.
You'll find more advantages to the new battery tech inside, where its slim design means the FT-Se offers a low-slung and characteristically sporty driving position. You get a centre infotainment screen, with two more screens sprouting from either side of the steering wheel.
While that's all we know about the FT-Se for now, expect more information on what looks to be a near-production-ready car to be announced in due course.