Toyota finally acts on electric vehicles: Can new battery-powered SUV and wild two-seat ‘Celica’ put Japanese giant back on track?

Toyota has revealed two all-new concepts at the Japan Mobility Show that preview both the car maker’s next-generation design language, and its intention to become a real player when it comes to EVs.

Having been left behind by Tesla and Chinese brands like BYD when it comes to EV acceleration, the Japanese giant needs to play catch up, and these two concepts could mark the first step on that journey.

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The first to be revealed is the Toyota FT-3e concept that looks like it could be a next-generation replacement for the recently-launched bZ4X.

Featuring a long wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs, the FT-3e has a sharply raked rear roofline and packs proportions not too dissimilar to the old Jaguar I-PACE.

Toyota FT3e

Unusual digital exterior displays behind the front wheels, meanwhile, notify the owner the vehicle’s charging status, state of charge and temperature readings.

Inside, there’s a single spoke steering wheel and a repetition of the exterior’s angular theme. Touchscreens and monitors are plentiful, from the landscape-mounted infotainment screen, to the large instrument panel, rear-view camera displays and a huge screen in place of the rear-view mirror.

For now, Toyota says the FT-3e is strictly a concept but some have suggested a production version based on it could land as soon as 2026.

Also rumoured to reappear at a later date is the cool Toyota FT-Se that was also revealed at the Tokyo show.

Technical details remain scarce, but the two-door coupe is said to share powertrains and potentially a platform with the bigger FT-3e SUV it rubbed shoulders with on the show stand.

Looking more Celica-sized than a natural replacement for the current GR Supra, the FT-Se stuns with its low-slung looks and aero work that you normally see on million-dollar hypercars.

Picking up where the 2021 GR Sports Concept left off, the sharp-looking FT3e gets large frontal air intakes and vertical LED daytime running lamps that emphasise its pointy nose.

Sharing proportions with cars like the Lotus Evora, the flush door handles, lightweight alloy wheels, large brakes and general detailing suggest a car not a million miles away from production, with only the tiny door mirrors letting the side down.

Clearly branded with Gazoo Racing badges at the rear, there’s also a huge wing, large diffuser and big fender openings to vent the rear arches.

Within there’s a yoke-style steering wheel, a central instrument cluster buried in the Alcantara-wrapped dash and two small display pods that flank the steering wheel provide additional info and a touchscreen gear selector.

Locking the driver and passenger in place are a pair of Recaro bucket seats that are covered in blue Alcantara.

No details have been released about how much power the all-electric coupe will pack, but footage of it drifting in the images and launch video suggests it could be rear-wheel drive.

There’s no word on whether the FT-Se will transition from concept to production car but enthusiasts will be heartened to know that current Toyota president, Koji Sato, has already declared that he wants to “revive the Celica”.

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