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Toyota's wild crossover hits Detroit

2005-01-12 11:30

The FT-SX concept was developed by Calty, Toyota's North American-based, research and design centre located in Newport Beach, California, and the TMS Advanced Product Strategy Group.

The team was assigned the task of creating a vehicle combining the ride comfort, handling, and fuel efficiency of a sedan with the utility, spaciousness and visibility of a car-based SUV.

The exterior design concept of the FT-SX was the creation of 30-year-old Calty designer, Ian Cartabiano, who also designed the all-new 2005 Toyota Avalon.

When undertaking the FT-SX project, Cartabiano envisioned a powerful design that would create excitement for both young families and empty-nest boomers, with a fresh styling identity for the Toyota brand.

Exterior theme

The exterior theme of the FT-SX is bold, simple and powerful. At more than 4.5 metres long, over 1.8 metres wide and over 1.5 metres high, it is both sleek and imposing.

The face of the FT-SX is an all-new expression for Toyota. Defined by the alignment of the headlamps, Toyota badging, and grille, it has been dubbed the new "T-Face".

The headlamps connect seamlessly with a bold new grille and there's deep sculpting sweeping down from the upper edge of the A-pillar, through the grille, and down the bumper, wrapping back around the front wheels.

The profile of the FT-SX is long and sleek, with a "coupe inspired" greenhouse and D-pillar that suggest sporty performance.

The beltline's unbroken razor sharp edge carries back to the exhaust.

In the rear, the tail lamps emphasise a wide, stable stance. The FT-SX features a clean and taut surface accented by a full width exhaust in the lower bumper. A smoothly integrated rear wing extends from the belt line continuing the body side motion past the rear glass.

Rear hatch

The innovative rear hatch offers three opening options.

The upper glass hatch pivots up; the lower hatch pivots down; and the glass roof has two panels which slide towards the centre, not only creating a useful loading opening, but also doubling as a rear sunroof.

The door handles are integrated into the beltline and open the clamshell doors at the touch of a button.

Deep, acrylic lamps house new LED technology to provide a "surface-through" image. Two-piece detailed 21 inch wheels provide a counterpoint to the clean body theme.

The luxurious interior was created by Calty designer Alberto Palma and uses natural woods, soft leathers, and durable metals.

A sense of space is defined by a "60/60" feeling for the driver and front passenger. This is achieved by overlapping seat elements that create individual space giving each the impression his or her space is dominant.

A "flying speedboard" gauge cluster surrounds the driver.

The armrests are integrated into the seats, eliminating clutter and creating a living-room effect.

The rear cargo area is extremely versatile, with a loading tray whichautomatically extends when the lower hatch is opened to assist in loading large and heavy objects.

Although the Toyota release made no mention of power supply, it is noteworthy that the latest Avalon has an all-new 3.5-litre, 24 valve, V6 engine matched to a five-speed sequential shift automatic transmission.

Equipped with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), and a dual-stage variable intake manifold, the new V6 produces an impressive 209 kW and 352 Nm of torque.

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