Radical Open-Wheel Toyota Concept Rumoured
Toyota are rumoured to have a Lotus Seven-style, open-wheel sports car in the pipeline. Will it see production or remain as just a concept?
The Tokyo Motor Show in October could be in for a real treat if rumours about Toyota’s plans to unveil a radical, three-seat, open-wheel sports car concept are true. What’s even more exciting is that industry rumours are also saying that if the concept gets a big thumbs up from the press and public Toyota will actually build the Lotus Seven-inspired vehicle.
According to the Australian-based Motoring website, Toyota is going to squeeze a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder hybrid engine inside the small nose cone, which is expected to output around 100-horsepower to the rear wheels via a CVT transmission.
Constructed mainly of carbon fibre, the concept is tipped to boast a smaller footprint than the Mazda MX-5 Miata and weight just 700kg. The big difference between the two being the Toyota’s open wheel design.
The concept will mark a shift away from the Japanese giant’s standard model line-up and is being geared towards a younger audience, in an attempt to rouse their enthusiasm. After all, they are the car buyers of tomorrow, right?
“Such cars must grab kids’ imaginations and hopefully give them an interest in owning and driving cars in the future,” said the source close to Motoring.
Despite its size, power-to-weight ratio and engine specs, the Toyota concept is being seen by the brand as a direct competitor to the Honda S660 and the new Mazda MX-5.
If it’s well-received and enters production, car fans can expect a 2017 reveal – perhaps at the Frankfurt motor show. International sales could then follow in 2018 and with a price tag of less than $30,000, the concept could be a big hit.
The car pictured at the top of this piece is the Motor Triathlon Race Car concept, which was unveiled by Toyota at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. That vehicle never made production. Will this one? Watch this space…