Toyota Rumored to be Planning Street-Legal Open-Wheel Sports Car

Toyota Rumored to be Planning Street-Legal Open-Wheel Sports Car

Toyota is rumored to have something unexpected planned for this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

The Japanese automaker is reportedly working on an open-wheel, three-seater sports car inspired by the Lotus Seven to debut in October and sources say if the press and public approve, the company will seriously considering taking it to production.

If the rumors do pan out and Toyota debuts such a radical concept in a few months, expect it to sport a narrow front-end design, exposed suspension arms and a staggered seat layout with a center driver’s seat. The engine will be up front driving the rear wheels, while weighing just around 1,540 lbs.

SEE ALSO: Baby Scion FR-S Under Development

Under the hood will be a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder hybrid powertrain generating around 100 hp mated to a CVT. Despite its unique design, size and power-to-weight ratio, the open-wheel sports car will target models such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the new Honda S660. If the project does get green light, Toyota could expedite bringing it to production with global sales starting as soon as 2018 at a price around $30,000.

[Source: Motoring]

Discuss this story at our Toyota forum

  • smartacus

    i heard the problem with FR-S sales was the price.
    Pricing the open-wheeler at $30,000 will probably garner the exact same results

  • Tony Pepperoni

    CVT, open suspension, weekend toy, 30K? Uh.. no.

  • You guys say you hate it now? Wait until you drive it.

  • brdwonder .

    No, not only NO but fuck NO. Open wheel cars have NO place on the highway. Especially with untrained average drivers behind the wheel. Especially with no roll cage and without a 5 point seat belt harness. Especially with an underweight 1,500 lb car. One touch on any open wheel will flip this thing. Go to any racetrack, Watch the open wheel “Modified” cars race. Look at how the drivers in their roll cage and their 5 point seatbelts and helmets and a Hans device respect each other and avoid toutching wheels. Then tell me an open wheel car on the highway is a safe thing! It’s Foopid! NOT a good Idea! I kid U not. I drive a ’78 Celica on the highway, It weighs 2,700 lb. It’s got fenders, and any fool out there can totally wreck me if he hits me. I might survive a glancing blow, I hit a 700 lb deer at 45 mph and it put me up on 2 wheels, What happens to a 1500 lb car when hit by something like my 4Runner at 4,250 lb? OMG! Hello Undertaker! I got my celica back down on 4 wheels, but I have an advantage I graduated from a racedriver school. How many Toyota customers can say that? who would be on the roadside on 4 wheels and who would be upside down in the ditch dead?

  • the government gave us bicycle helmets to protect the stupid people that do stupid things – they are among us – a car like this would be the answer – the question is how to thin the herd? – how to improve the gene pool? – I might love it, but I have more than a dozens years on the track … but then again, it would be less safe than a motorcycle …

  • A 700 pound deer, huh? My BS meter just spiked. Even a good-sized Elk might reach 700 pounds, a Roosevelt Elk (bull) sometimes 900. But a deer? At 280 tops.

  • brdwonder .

    Mark, perhaps you are not familiar with the Mule Deer subspecies found in the inland Pacific NW. twice the size of yer average white tail.