The Toyota SF-R Tokyo motor show concept channels TVR, and we like it

Toyota SFR SF-R Tokyo Motor Show concept

A rear-wheel-drive sportster and other zany offerings from the Japanese automaker

With the Tokyo motor show just around the corner, Toyota released some information on its upcoming unveils. The Japanese auto manufacturer is debuting the S-FR — no, it isn’t another Scion FR-S — as well as two other concepts and a robot.

Toyota said it was shooting for an entry-level sports car vibe with the S-FR, and it seems to fit the bill. The S-FR packs a traditional front-engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, much like the similarly named FR-S (known as the Toyota GT86 overseas). We don’t know whats powering it yet (though a 1.5-liter four is rumored) but Toyota did say that it’ll have a six-speed stick, so it sounds capable of gear-banging fun.

Inspiration must have come partly from vintage British racers — we’re seeing some TVR in its curves — but the S-FR still has the aura of a Japanese sports car, like the classic Toyota Sports 800. 

Toyota says that the S-FR concept will seat four, but we don’t see that happening comfortably.

S-FR concept on a real road

The FCV Plus will be debuting alongside the sporty SF-R, but couldn’t be any farther apart conceptually. Running on compressed hydrogen, the FCV Plus represents Toyota’s push into alternative fuel sources. The hydrogen fuel cell at the vehicle’s core generates electricity that not only powers the small car’s electric motors, but also doubles as a generator for home use. 

The Toyota FCV Plus concept looks like a ’90s iMac

Toyota will also be unveiling the Kikai concept, which should be a hit among the world’s few remaining steampunks. The Kikai was specifically designed to show off the complexity of mechanical motion. While it might not be the most attractive car at the Tokyo motor show, it could become a good tool to show people how cars actually function, and demystify suspension and drivelines.

The Toyota Kikai concept is a steampunk’s dream car

And finally, a robot — what would the Tokyo motor show be without a new robot? The 4-inch companion is called the Kirobo Mini and was engineered to communicate with owners “in a meaningful way.” The robot is designed to go everywhere with its owner, and will communicate verbally as well as through facial expressions and other gestures.

Kirobo Mini robotic companion debuts at the Tokyo motor show

So, Toyota is bringing a legitimately cool little speedster, a futuristic hydrogen generator with wheels, a strange steampunk-mobile and a robotic friend to Tokyo. We can’t wait to see what’s powering the S-FR (or interact with the new robot), so be on the lookout for updates from the show floor.

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