The Toyota S-FR Concept will debut this month at the annual Toyota Motor Show. This very small 157″ 4-seat rear wheel drive sports coupe slots in under the Toyota 86 (Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S) and is part of the continuing trend towards smaller and lighter sports cars in Japan. It competes against the new Honda S600, although the Honda only has 2 seats. With an unspecified engine and a 6-speed manual transmission, fuel economy is certainly a top priority. But note in the press release that the concept has a front-midship engine placement: handling dynamics will be optimal and decidedly sporty.
As the new Honda S660 brought the original Honda S500/600/800 back to life, this concept reminds us of the original Toyota Sports 800. While the S-FR has 4 seats (all but a requirement given the challenges of owning a car in Tokyo these days), the size is similar and the styling is reminiscent but modern. And while Toyota hasn’t announced production, clearly the Concept is intended for production (minus the show-car big brakes).
The S-FR is entirely a creation of Toyota: no partnership with Subaru this time. We all know how well that partnership has done: a nicely designed product in the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, but then zero improvements made to it as sales drop and the expected performance model is never to be seen. Not this time – it’s all Toyota. We’re looking forward to the production announcement, and even more to Tsuchiya taking one down the Touge course!
Toyota Press Release and image gallery follows:
The Toyota S-FR is a concept vehicle that continues the proud heritage of Toyota’s fun-to-drive lightweight sports cars. Pitched as an entry-level model, the new concept emphasizes responsiveness, and aims to make a whole new generation fall in love with driving.
Compact and Simple
The concept’s compact body is incredibly light, yet offers a smooth driving style. Not just a sports car, it pairs the simplicity of an entry-level model with an intimacy that brings human and machine closer together.
Fun to Drive
Benefiting from the unique advantages of a lightweight sports car, the concept offers smooth, responsive and direct handling that gives a real sense of communication between car and driver―one key benefit of the FR (front engine/rear drive) format.
The concept’s long nose and wide stance make for an archetypal sports car profile, while the familiar roundness of its frame inspires a feeling of closeness. The simple and modern finish of the interior rounds off a design that stresses approachable simplicity while conveying the vehicle’s performance and sporty spirit.
- The full-fledged FR layout gives the engine a front midship location. Optimal weight distribution and independent suspension make for outstanding cornering performance.
- A six-speed manual transmission offers smooth acceleration, adding to the car’s fun, responsive drive.
- The Toyota S-FR was conceptualized as the kind of vehicle that attracts its own die-hard fan base, whose members love driving and customizing it.
|Toyota S-FR||3,990 mm||1,695 mm||1,320 mm||2,480 mm||4|