Toyota has given us some of the most iconic JDM sports cars ever made. From the beautiful 2000GT to the legendary Mk4 Supra and the humble hoot in the GR86. But there is one car without which all of these icons wouldn’t exist – Toyota Sports 800. The 1960s S800 was Toyota’s first-ever sports car. It was a Kei car confined to Japan, and so the rest of the world didn’t get to enjoy this gem.
But, Timothy Adry Emmanuel has created a HotCars Exclusive 2023 Toyota Sports 800 to remind us of Toyota’s sports car roots. The modern Sports 800 has a lightweight construction, a flexible powertrain package, and above all, the soul that is absent in most modern sports cars. Toyota is planning to revive the MR2, but we think they should bring back the Sports 800. Even the Mazda MX-5 Miata will struggle in the S800’s presence!
Move Over MR2, This Toyota S800 Revival Is What We Deserve
Rumors are floating around of the Toyota MR2 revival as a hybrid sports car or even as the first-ever GR-tuned all-electric sports car. Ask any true JDM fan, and they will tell you that this move is clearly slaughtering the legendary JDM sports car. We are here to ease that pain by reviving the first-ever Toyota sports car in a modern avatar.
The HotCars Exclusive modern Toyota Sports 800 Concept brings the lost soul of pure motoring back into sports cars. Our revival of the S800 is much larger in dimensions. But if you look at how huge, small cars have become today, like Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Gold, the 2023 Sports 800 is still a Kei car.
We have stayed true to the original S800 and the 1962 Toyota Publica Sports concept car it is based on. Timothy has graciously expanded on Shozo Sato’s design and Tatsuo Hasegawa’s aircraft-inspired engineering. The long front end smoothly flows upwards and into the steep yet sexy rear profile of this sports coupe.
The 1965 Sports 800 used steel and aluminum construction to make a rigid yet lightweight sports car. The modern S800 gets a futuristic makeover for the front and rear fascia. More importantly, our imagination of the cool sports car gets updated with improved aerodynamics as well. Seamless integrated aero bits for the front bumper are a neat touch for the same.
The 2023 concept sits low on a stiffer suspension setup and gets some of the sickest custom deep-disc rims. We have wrapped slicks around these rims and upgraded the brakes because the wild engine it packs clearly needs all the backup!
Toyota Sports 800 Concept Packs The 268-HP GR Yaris Engine
The original 1965 Sports 800 was powered by a humble 790cc that churned out up to 44 hp. This is clearly not eye-popping but with a clever curb weight of just 1,279 pounds. This completely flipped over how this tiny Toyota handled. The Sports 800 was the Mazda Miata of the 1960s! But in 2023, we are dialing things up to 11!
The modern Toyota Sports 800 is powered by the insane 1.6-Liter turbocharged engine from the Toyota GR Yaris. With the size bump, our Sports 800 Concept weighs just under 3,000 pounds. And so, it is befitting to pack the 268 HP three-cylinder engine from the wicked Yaris. And this helps us revive the magical formula that made the S800 a cool driver’s car in the first place.
With 273 lb-ft of torque spinning the rear wheels, our modern Sports 800 is capable of doing 0-60 mph in 5 seconds and has a top speed of over 140 mph. And yes, our Sports 800 Concept has a stick shift, a slick 5-Speed unit, to be precise. This is our tribute and testimony on retaining pure driving pleasure, even in 2023 when electrification is rampant.
The Coolest Kei Car Is Back To Breathe Life Into Sports Cars
There is no doubt that electric cars will take over the automobile landscape. And for us, who have loved to find peace in the glorious music of gasoline engines, it is a lot to take in. But there is still time and hope for pure driving machines to dwell. While we have plonked in the adrenaline-pumped GR Yaris engine in the S800, there will be no dearth of fun with a mellower engine.
And the best candidate for that is the four-cylinder engine from the 2023 Toyota GR86. This 2.4-Liter unit packs 228 hp and barely fits under the tiny hood. But it is still enough to put a smile on the driver’s face. But the best part is that it will be a lot more fuel efficient that the hungry three-cylinder.
While it will not return the insane 73 MPG as the original 1960s S800, it will easily close in at 30 MPG due to the weight advantage. That will make it one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars today.
Toyota’s First Sports Car Comeback Will Not Be In Vain
The S800 Toyota was one of the first sports cars that showed us, performance figure is not the only measure of “fun”. You can have a tiny car with under 100 hp and still have the time of your life on the racetrack. In today’s world, where 1,000+ HP supercars have become so common, this 2023 Toyota Sports 800 Concept reminds us of the joyful little things.
Yes, gasoline engines will be phased out, and we have to embrace that truth. But even then, the cool Kei car formula will work with battery packs. And so, if every Toyota plans on reincarnating its first-ever sports car, we hope they stay true to the magical formula that made it so epic. We can give them a lesson or two, too! And trust us, even if our modern Sports 800 goes electric, it won’t be in vain!