The Toyota FT-HS or Future Toyota Hybrid Sports is not new us, but it is new to Australia and has been unveiled today in this country by Toyota Australia.
Toyota Australia's corporate manager product planning Peter Evans is unique in his description of the FT-HS and hints at a future model whose shoes the FT-HS or something similar may fill.
"To really appreciate FT-HS, think of it as a 'Prius on steroids. Alternatively, it could be a vision for a Toyota Supra of the future," Mr Evans said.
The FT-HS combines an electric motor and a 3.5-litre 300kW V6 petrol engine, which is similar to that used in several production models, including Toyota Australia?s Aurion.
Its front-engine, rear-drive layout hybrid drivetrain is estimated to be capable of dispatching the 0-100km/h dash within the four-second range.
It also features the fuel-saving benefits and ultra-low emissions of Toyota's hybrid technology.
"The ability to enjoy the ultimate driving pleasure with a clear conscience makes FT-HS the ideal sports car for the 21st century. It will appeal to an emerging group of buyers who are environmentally aware and regard technology as a necessity, not a luxury."
The FT-HS concept was produced by Calty, Toyota's California research and design centre. The centre set out to develop a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and emotion in a concept that addresses the question: "What is a suitable sports car for the 21st century?"
If hybrids get your ecological juices flowing then this is arguably the world?s most magnificent example. At TMR, we?ll remain sceptical, but ensure we get plenty of pictures for you when we attend the Melbourne Motor Show this Friday.
The FT-HS concept can be seen on Toyota's stand at the Melbourne International Motor Show (29 February to 10 March).
TOYOTA FT-HS CONCEPT VEHICLE
3.5-litre V6 hybrid electric
Target output: around 300kW
Projected 0-100kmh time: mid four-second range
Overall length: 4325mm (170.27 in)
Overall width: 1860mm (73.23 in)
Overall height: 1290mm (50.79 in)
Wheelbase: 2650mm (104.33 in)
Tracks - front: 1600mm (63.0 in); rear: 1555mm (61.2 in)
Wheels: Carbon fibre
Tyres - front: 245/35R21; rear 285/30R21