2016 Tokyo Auto Salon Preview – Toyota Turns Up the Heat with S-FR Racing Concept

By Steve & Tamami Laser, with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan

(Update: We visited the 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon and have photos and videos of the S-FR Racing Concept in our story. Click here for Part 1 of our show coverage.)

When we saw the Toyota S-FR concept (below) at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, we wondered what the next step would be for this modern-day tribute to the Sports 800? Would Toyota put it into production? And if so, could it possibly come to America?

IMG_0670We took this photo of the Toyota S-FR concept at the Tokyo Motor Show press preview where it made its global debut. Toyota said S-FR was conceptualized as the kind of vehicle that “attracts its own die-hard fan base, whose members love driving and customizing it.”

20151203_01_07_sNow Toyota is turning up the heat by building a wildly tricked-out version called the S-FR Racing Concept. Toyota has announced that its GAZOO Racing group is reimagining the concept as a track-ready race car for Tokyo Auto Salon 2016, the legendary custom-car exhibition returning for a three-day run from Jan. 15 through 17.

20151203_01_08_s_2Toyota says it views Tokyo Auto Salon as an excellent opportunity to promote car culture, and to engage with car fans in order to turn their feedback into “ever-better products.” The event will be held at Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, with an industry and press day on Jan. 15, followed by public days on Jan. 16 and 17.

20151203_01_13_sWith wide flared fenders, eye-catching hood vents, and the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic canards and front/rear spoilers, this concept represents Toyota’s vision of the S-FR as a performance vehicle born for the racing circuit. While the model displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show had more simple styling, the S-FR Racing Concept aims for a substantially more aggressive look.

20151203_01_01_sAt the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota said that S-FR rides on a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive platform sporting 50/50 weight distribution and employing a 6-speed manual gearbox. Yet we didn’t hear what type of powertrain could be fitted under the hood. Perhaps the mystery will be solved at the Tokyo Auto Salon?

20151203_01_09_sMeanwhile, Toyota says its new Voxy G’s Concept (above and below) and Noah G’s Concept coming to the Tokyo Auto Salon will continue to highlight its proposal to give minivans a sportier feel, recently demonstrated in the Japan-only Sienta launched in July. Toyota let us test the Sienta when we visited Nagoya in October.

20151203_01_10_sThese new van concepts take the existing Voxy and Noah to the next level. Toyota says they offer a refined ride and emphasize driving enjoyment and comfort, while stepping well outside the minivan segment’s comfort zone.

In addition to the S-FR Racing Concept and the G’s minivans, Toyota will also be displaying vehicles at the Auto Salon that have participated in the 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race since 2007, as well as vehicles that took part in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the All-Japan Rally Championship in 2015.

News source and photos from Toyota Motor Corporation

Story and S-FR Concept photo from Tokyo Motor Show © 2015 CarNichiWa.com