Concept Cars

1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car

1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car

Fellow gearheads, I come to you today with another wacky, wild concept car that should have been but never was. Today I want to introduce you to the 1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car. If you like “sci-fi” and “futuristic” cars of the ’70s, this is the car for you.

Wild For Toyota

Toyota has been known here in the USA for decades as a company that provides reliable, safe, and affordable family vehicles. They are known for fuel efficient and stylish cars, trucks, and SUVs. However, they are not usually the first name to come to mind when discussing performance cars or race cars. It is true that they have a racing department now, but it is still not one of the names you would normally associate with supercars. This is simply not the market Toyota typically aspires to capture. The breakthroughs in aerodynamics, electronics, and materials of the late 1960’s had made many things possible that were previously simply not possible. Toyota decided to explore those avenues, and see where it could take them.

1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept CarDue to all these advances, and the “space age” mindset of the people following the  1969 moon landing , people were much more interested in seeing new and exciting designs in cars. One such car was the 1970 Toyota EX-1. .The people at Toyota had been dabbling in racing, and decided it was time to bring some new cars to the market to showcase their talents.  They wanted to change their image by giving  people something to talk about, and this car certainly had everything needed to get people to start talking!

1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car

Futuristic Car

The car itself was pretty revolutionary for the time. The car had two glass roof panels and doors that were hinged on the roof, which allowed them to open straight up rather than out. I realize this is now considered rather “old school”, but in 1970 this was big news. Another cool feature of the car was that when the doors opened, the seats raised up a few inches to help people get in and out easier, due to the fact that the car sat so low to the ground. Again, you may be thinking that this is something that a lot of modern cars have, but in 1970 this was a totally new feature.

This car also had something else interesting to offer – it was a rear-engine car, just like the race version Toyota 7. The engineers at Toyota decided to keep the 5.0 liter V8 engine that the race car used. However, since 800 horsepower was considered a bit too aggressive for a road car, they removed the twin turbochargers from the race engine, which reduced the car to 450 horsepower. Double wishbone independent suspension was still included on all 4 wheels, and vented disc brakes were used on all 4 wheels to ensure the stopping power it would need.


1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car

Futuristic Interior, Too

The interior was another story altogether, however. The engineers at Toyota knew that a car that looks this cool had to have an interior that was equally cool. .The 1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car interior featured a split center console with all sorts of cool switches and gauges. The steering wheel was also unique, and was designed to compliment the chromed dash that contained even more gauges and buttons. From the looks of the interior, comfort was not the first thing they thought of when designing the car.. This car looks like it was made to go fast.

1970 Toyota EX-1 Concept Car

Fate Has Its Way

They must have thought this car would someday make it to production, since they created at least one piece of advertising literature for it. The cost of producing a car like this would probably have been a huge gamble for Toyota at that time, since they were basically just known as inexpensive transportation in 1970. The thought was that it would be a ‘supercar’ and compete with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari was just a dream at that time, and was probably shelved due to the risk factor. Sadly, it never made it much further than one non-working prototype. The idea for the concept car was scrapped, and the prototype is no longer known to exist.


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