Earlier this year, Toyota unveiled its FT-SE concept vehicle, offering a glimpse of the brand's forthcoming electric sports car. Chief Branding Officer Simon Humphries has hinted at potential features for the GR-branded car, suggesting the ability for owners to download various engine sounds and driving dynamics, providing a personalized and exciting experience.
In a conversation with Top Gear, Humphries shared the idea of letting owners download their preferred engine sound and driving characteristics, creating a unique driving experience while emitting only smiles. This feature could be particularly appealing to electric vehicle (EV) owners who miss the distinctive sounds associated with combustion engines, allowing them to choose from a range of options, including V8 or V12 sounds or even iconic Formula 1 V10 sounds.
Hyundai's Ioniq 5 N has already demonstrated the implementation of synthetic engine noises in EVs, offering users a choice of three distinct sounds. Toyota aims to take this concept further by enabling customers to download sounds according to their preferences.
According to GR (Gazoo Racing) manager Masahito Watanabe, Toyota recognizes the impact of sound on the fun-to-drive feeling in electric vehicles. The development team is actively working on creating a sound that complements the dynamics of performance EVs, aiming for an uplifting driving experience.
While the idea of downloadable driving dynamics is less clear, Toyota appears to be considering options that go beyond synthetic engine noises. Watanabe suggests that they are exploring the development of driving dynamics that match specific driving experiences, potentially offering settings for different scenarios like road trips, track days, or even settings tailored for inexperienced drivers.
Although the technology may not be expected on mainstream EVs like the bZ4X, it could find its place in Toyota's upcoming electric sports cars, set to debut sometime after 2026. The FT-SE concept, featuring a simulated manual transmission, hints at Toyota's commitment to advanced technology, possibly incorporating the brand's solid-state battery technology. The evolution of this innovative concept will be closely watched as Toyota navigates the future landscape of electric sports cars.