Toyota and sports cars seems like such an odd and distant pairing, especially when you consider that the Japanese auto giant has been synonymous to automotive conservation, hybrids and family-friendliness, all the sort of things that otherwise would bore the typical sports car lover to sleep.
But thanks to the appointment of its current CEO, Akio Toyoda, who’s openly been an avid lover of speed and motorsports, Toyota’s been working hard to reinvigorate their love affair with the sports car, especially when they produced some of history’s most iconic sports cars, such as the 2000GT, the Celica, the MR2, and of course, the Supra. And they’ve attempted well so far, giving us excellent examples like the GT86.
Now, meet their latest pitch at a possible new entry-level sports coupe–the S-FR Concept.
The S-FR is essentially a no-bollocks, front-engined rear-wheel drove compact sports coupe with a [barely] four-seater cabin. And due to its small footprint, one would think it’s another Toyota Kei car.
Due for a reveal at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the Toyota S-FR comes nearly production ready with a fully-functional interior with a simple design. There’s a full-digital instrument cluster, a few buttons for the climate control, an engine stop-start button, and that’s pretty much it. We weren’t joking when we said the S-FR is a no-bollocks car, especially when you consider all of the technological junk found in cars today to woo the typical consumer to oblivion.
Being pitched as a sports car, Toyota also describes what’s under the skin of the S-FR, which is a six-speed manual transmission, mated to some small engine, near-50/50 weight distribution, and independent suspension at all four corners for optimal handling–none of that cost-cutting torsion beam nonsense. And of course, being pitched as a small sports car, weight is kept low.
Toyota didn’t say exactly how much the S-FR weighs, or even what’s powering it. We just want to know, are they going to build it, when, and will they bring it to America?
Toyota S-FR (world premiere)
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.
- Sporty design
- 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.
Vehicle name Length Width Height Wheelbase Occupancy Toyota S-FR 3,990 mm 1,695 mm 1,320 mm 2,480 mm 4
– By: Chris Chin