Toyota has long promised that they want to make their cars more fun to drive. With the S-FR concept that will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, they may just be telling the truth.
The S-FR is a classic front-engine, rear-drive sports car, complete with a long nose and short rear overhang. The front end may look a little too much like an irate puffer fish, but the little coupe is hardly boring, especially in electric chartreuse paint.
Toyota says that the S-FR has a front-mid-engine layout, which means that, although it is a front-engined car, the engine itself is behind the front axle, which gives the car better weight distribution.
Inside, the S-FR looks more like a Lotus than a Toyota, with a simple dash that has a single, large circular gauge cluster and digital instrumentation. The center stack is similarly simple, with circular controls arranged in a line that leads down to – joy of all joys – a stubby six-speed manual shifter.
The S-FR’s raison d’etre is to be fun to drive, and as such has no infotainment screen or anything else to distract the driver from the task of driving. The fact that Toyota intends for it to be an entry-level sports car means that it will be accessible to a lot of people, and will also make a great blank canvas for customizing.
As a bonus, the little fish can accommodate four people, although the actual size of the rear seats is yet to be determined. Still, a little bit of practicality would go a long way to make it a more accessible and less of a compromise.
Corrected for Imperial units, the S-FR has a length of 157 inches, a width of 66.7 inches, a height of 52 inches and a wheelbase of 97.6 inches. That’s longer than a Miata by three inches of length and nearly seven inches of wheelbase, although it’s about an inch and a half narrower. It does tower over the Miata by about four inches, but in all dimensions it’s right in the ballpark of its most obvious competitor.
The S-FR is one of those cars that car enthusiasts will be begging Toyota to build. The company says that it wants the S-FR to have a “die-hard fanbase.” If it drives as good as it looks, they will have no problem building one.
Check out this TFLcar video of the S-FR’s target, the 2016 Mazda Miata: