NEWS: Toyota S-FR Concept is the Sports 800 reborn

Toyota S-FR Concept 13

Toyota has previewed a new sports car concept ahead of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show later this month. According to the automaker, the Toyota S-FR “continues the proud heritage of Toyota’s fun-to-drive lightweight sports cars.” Of course, this year was the 50th anniversary of Toyota’s first sports car, and though it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the official statement, the S-FR clearly looks like a modern interpretation of 1965 Sports 800. 

Toyota S-FR Concept 28

The S-FR speaks the language of enthusiasts. It’s front-engined, rear-wheel-drive, and has been designed on a front-midship platform where the motor sits behind the front axle for optimal weight distribution. Toyota declined to reveal specifics at this time, but noted that the transmission is s 6-speed manual.

Toyota S-FR Concept 05

In a brief, four-paragraph press release, Toyota emphasized its lightness and weight no less than four times and its responsiveness thrice. It also hammered home the ideas of simplicity, direct handling, and fun.

Toyota S-FR Concept 03

Though never reference explicitly, the Sports 800 is referenced in several aspects of the S-FR’s design. First and foremost are the round headlights. On the original, the bezel shape gave them an ever-so-slightly angry look, a cue replicated by the cutline of the hood in the S-FR (and made even angrier).

Toyota S-FR Concept 01

The original Sports 800 was notable for having a targa top a year before the Porsche 911 Targa, from which the removable roof gets its name. No matter the color of the car, the Sports 800 always had a black roof. Though the S-FR appears to have a fixed roof, the black top is clearly a homage to the original

Toyota S-FR Concept 19

Though the interior of the S-FR is funky and modern, the flat 3-spoke steering wheel‘s doughnut-like hub appears to be a modern interpretation of the Sports 800’s. Also, the simple shift for the 6-speed transmission, with its perfectly conical shift boot and no center console ahead, is also strongly reminiscent of the Sports 800.

Toyota S-FR Concept 17

Toyota says that it hopes the S-FR will inspire spirited motoring and customization, and “make a whole new generation fall in love with driving.”

With this, the new ND MX-5, and the Mazda sports car concept, it appears sports cars are coming back in a big way. Let’s just hope they get past the concept stage. The Tokyo Motor Show begins October 28.

Toyota S-FR Concept 20 Toyota S-FR Concept 21 Toyota S-FR Concept 22 Toyota S-FR Concept 27 Toyota S-FR Concept 29

Images courtesy of Toyota.

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29 Responses to NEWS: Toyota S-FR Concept is the Sports 800 reborn

  1. D says:


  2. Ant says:

    Been looking at pictures of this all day. Wasn’t keen on its face at first, but it’s growing on me – the original Sports 800 wasn’t what you’d call traditionally pretty, but it now stands out as a strong design.

    Not sure I’d change a thing, in reality. There’s some really neat details here and Toyota seems to have a thing for bold colours at the moment – the C-HR crossover concept from Paris last year looked fantastic in purple. Here’s hoping some classic, bright shades return to the road, too.

    • toy_yoda says:

      CHR concept is certainly going production. I work for Toyota in our parts department and when the accessories catalogue was updated a couple weeks ago the CHR was listed as a model selection for Scion.

      Now why would they do that if it wasn’t becoming a reality? Hmmmm….

  3. Dankan says:

    I love it and really, really want it. I have no idea how they’ll be able to get it into a price bracket below the FR-S/GT86/BRZ on a unique platform, so I really look forward to hearing how they pull this off.

  4. Randy says:

    Looks like a fun little buggy!

    Probably won’t be built – at least not for the U.S., if recent XXX-Auto-Show stuff is any indication.

    About the name, however: sFr is more than a little too close to FR-S. Don’t do the GM-and-Acura-thing with a-bunch-of-letter names that are too easy to mix up. XLR, CLX, SRX, TLR, CLR, PBnJ, FBI, etc. Matter of fact, wasn’t there a Caddy ETC at some period? Oh yeah – the Eldorado Touring Coupe; the ETC… An afterthought…

    How about the S-[engine size] for the name, to keep a tie-in to their heritage?

  5. daniel guzman says:

    it´s a baby copen from daihatsu or what? is already a proved base to manufacture next year, upgrade the suspension a bit and it´s ready to go!!!

  6. Kevin says:

    So sad that the IDX got cancelled. What a perfect little rivalry it would’ve been between the two and the already existing Miata! Hopefully this thing fares better!

    • _John says:

      Who knows, maybe if this little thing makes it to production Nissan might re-evaluate the IDX. A boy can dream….

    • DesignerD says:

      That certainly would have been awesome. Well in the mean time, congratulations Toyota, you will have my money. But I will insist on RS Watanabes

  7. alvin says:

    another slap in the face to Nissan. Love it!

  8. art ferrer says:

    All wee need is toyota to make a homage to a 2000gt for the masses I forgot were I read it but I read there was going to be 3 diferent rwd toyota this sfr being the smaller one the frs the mid one and the large one I supose should take design cues from the 2000gt then theyll have an awesome lineup

  9. Mister K says:

    This could be an actual production car in India!

    Su fF eR

  10. Oracles says:

    Looks fantastic


  11. Jova says:

    Another model only for Japan????

  12. ya_boy_yeti says:

    SOOO ANGRYYY but I cant take you seriously like Radditz. pretty sure they are gonna drop in with a 1.4l turbo. I hope it comes with a 2.0L inline. Next I hope it come to us Yanks as a toyota rather than a scion. HOLY SHIT can they make an upper trim Lexus??

  13. ahja says:

    I find myself quite liking it upon first impressions. It nails the anime-esque cuteness of the Sports 800, with its narrow track, tall looking greenhouse, and short wheelbase, but doesn’t try to hard to mimic the 800’s shape and lines. Although… I wonder what it would look like if the quarter window was eliminated and its space added to the b-pillar.

    What are our targets here? 100hp 1.4L and 1800lbs?

    Also, look at those little wheels. If this thing ever makes it to production its a good sign for having continued tire supply for our 13-14″ wheeled JNCs! Also, also, when was the last time we saw a concept that actually had small wheels?! That alone deserves some applause. Good job, Toyota.

  14. ahja says:

    A few minutes further contemplation has me convinced that this car is going to happen. This concept is barely even “concepty”. The interior looks production line ready, as do all the panels and components: glass, lights, wheels, even mirrors. I suspect all these images are renders, and when you render a concept you can put in whatever fantastic stuff you want, and most concepts certainly do. In fact, to drive hype such antics are incentivized in the car concepting game. So why render something to look decidedly dealer-ready unless you are actually planning on building and selling this car?

  15. Adam says:

    The next rear-wheel drive, sports-oriented vehicle from Toyota WILL be called the…R-FS.

  16. Nigel says:

    This looks good !

  17. Maximo says:

    hope toyota will build this soon. i would make a great rival to the miata.
    and it looks better than the ND miata

  18. Jim says:

    Toyota is now on their second sports car rendition, and NOTHING from Nissan. Come on you guys, I have money in my pocket and LOTS of other choices now available. At least there is only one way to spell “Z”

  19. s30zgt says:

    Is it me or does any one see a little Fairlady Z in that side window design, hood bulge, and sugar scoop-ish covered headlight? Maybe if Nissan had grabbed this designer instead of Toyota we might have a baby Z on our hands instead.

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