Cool Power: The Toyota FT-HS

Goodbye wimpy looking sports cars and boring sedans. Welcome Toyota’s new concept, the FT-HS, a hybrid sports car that might just look good enough to be…cool? Toyotas have always struck me as reliable cars, but I’m not a huge fan of the way they look. The FT-HS concept, however, is gorgeous, but in a distinctly Toyota sort of way. Add to this the fact that it is a hybrid sports car, has an estimated 0-60 of around 4 seconds, and may cost as little as $35,000 (Toyota hopes), and this might be a sports car concept that I could realistically dream of owning.

Of course, the car won’t be shown until January 7th at the Detroit Auto Show, and all I’ve seen so far is computer imagery, but I’m hopeful, both about the look and the specs. 400 hp will be dragged out of the 3.5 liter V6, which is paired with a Hybrid Synergy Drive System that acts like a super-charger, giving the FT-Hs a very low level of emissions and a lot of power. In an effort to counteract the weight of this high-powered get-up, Toyota designers are trying to use as much aluminum and carbon fiber as possible. Though Toyota doesn’t seem to have released actual fuel economy estimations, as a hybrid, it should get decent gas mileage.

Oddly enough, for me, the coolest part of this car is not the power (though I would like to get my hands on a super-charged, 400hp engine), but the roof design. I guess I’m a sucker for gimmicky features. The idea is that the hardtop roof will slide back and cover the backseat, creating a 2-seater convertible at the touch of a button. Gimicky, but pretty cool. Who wants to sit in the back of one of these little sports cars anyway?

Even if the FT-HS never actually hits the market, its impact could be felt. This is a hybrid sports car that has a couple of things going for it: it looks good, and it should have a low sticker price (if Toyota can stick to their guns). If it does make it into production, this would corner the market of people who can’t afford the Lexus 450h, but still want a nice-looking, high-performance hybrid. People like me (and maybe you).

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