Toyota S-FR Racing Concept: tiny but tough

Published: 07 December 2015

► Toyota Gazoo Racing transforms S-FR
► Aggressive aero, but no tech details yet
► Full reveal at Tokyo Auto Salon in January

Toyota still hasn’t committed itself to building the S-FR concept for real, but it has handed the design over to its in-house racing team, Gazoo Racing. The resulting Toyota S-FR Racing Concept more than makes up for its unimaginative name with an aero package Nasa would be proud of.

Couldn’t they find a bigger wing?

It’s not shy, is it? And together with the front splitter, canards, side skirts and rear diffuser, we’re a little concern it’ll generate so much downforce the mooted 130bhp 1.5-litre four-banger won’t actually be able to move. But with the flared wheelarches and vented bonnet offsetting that enormous grille, it’s certainly got the attitude necessary to give all those MX-5 fanboys something to think about.

Any other upgrades for the Toyota S-FR Racing Concept?

The car has been built for the 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon­ – a kind of Japanese SEMA – in January 2016, and Toyota Gazoo Racing is keeping further details under wraps for now. However, it has helpfully released the dimensions, which allows us to see that at 1270mm tall it sits some 50mm lower than the original S-FR concept, suggesting modified sports suspension.

It’s also 40mm wider, thanks to those riveted-on flares, now matching the girth of the Mk4 MX-5 at 1735mm. The splitter and the diffuser add 110mm to the Racing Concept’s length, taking it to 4100mm overall. Knowing Gazoo, you can expect a rollcage and otherwise race-prepped interior as well.

The six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive layout will surely remain core to its appeal, while other loveable details include the centre-exit exhaust and wheel centres that are colour-coded to either side of the car – blue for the right and red for the left – making those track-day tyre pitstops that bit speedier.

Hooked on Japanese cars? Check out the CAR+ archive story when we twin-tested the Subaru Impreza WRX vs Mitsubishi Evo V.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count