For those who think the Scion FR-S/Toyota GT86 is too big, Toyota is bringing the compact S-FR sports coupe concept to the Tokyo motor show. Other concepts making their world debuts include the Toyota KIKAI and FCV Plus concepts.
Toyota S-FR Concept
The Toyota S-FR concept features the same front-engine rear-drive setup as the larger Scion FR-S. With the engine mounted behind the front axle, the Toyota S-FR concept has a front-mid-engine design, which combined with a low curb weight, is said to "offer smooth, responsive, and direct handling that gives a real sense of communication between car and driver."
At 157.1 inches long, the 2+2 Toyota S-FR is closer in overall length to the third-generation Mazda Miata (157.3 inches long) than the Scion FR-S (166.7 inches long). But the Toyota concept rides on a 97.6-inch wheelbase, which is closer to the Scion FR-S's 101.2-inch wheelbase than to the Miata's 91.7-inch wheelbase.
In addition to its lightweight and compact size, the S-FR concept is an entry-level model with a simple and modern interior. Its rounded exterior styling, long dash-to-axle ratio, and wide stance give the S-FR concept a sporty look.
Toyota says the concept's optimal weight distribution and four-wheel independent suspension give it "outstanding cornering performance." While Toyota didn't disclose any engine details, the S-FR concept features a six-speed manual transmission. Hopefully more details emerge at the reveal.
If the S-FR concept seems at odds with the automaker's current stable of practical cars, the Toyota KIKAI concept takes the idea of fun to a whole new level. Toyota says the concept displays the "beauty, simplicity, and fascinating motion" of machines. We say the KIKAI concept reminds us of a modern Baja Bug.
The KIKAI concept features an exposed rear-mounted engine as well as exposed front- and rear suspension, while the wheels feature small motorcycle-style fenders. The designs of the fuel tank, reserve tank, and exhaust pipes add to the car's decidedly mechanical appeal.
Inside, the KIKAI concept features a 1+2 seating position similar to the McLaren F1. The dashboard features a set of simple analog gauges and switches. Small windows in the front firewall give the driver a view of the movement of the front suspension and wheels.
Toyota FCV Plus
Powered by compressed hydrogen, the Toyota FCV Plus concept hints at a future of sustainable energy. Toyota says that compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than electricity, is easier to store, and can be generated in a number of ways. Fuel cell vehicles have the potential to go from eco-cars to energy-cars, according to the automaker. That's because the car's fuel cell stack can be used to create electricity for the local grid.
The concept's fuel cell stack is mounted between the front tires, while the hydrogen tank is mounted behind the rear seat. Motivation for the car comes from four independent in-wheel motors mounted in each wheel. Toyota says the design enables a roomy interior in a compact body.