Why Did Toyota Just Trademark The Name 'S-FR'?

Illustration for article titled Why Did Toyota Just Trademark The Name S-FR?

When automakers trademark names, it’s not necessarily indicative of a new model coming out with that name. Sometimes they do it to protect old nameplates or reserve new ones, just in case. But one recent Toyota trademark filing has us scratching our heads.

As reported first in the Supra MKV forums (yes, enough people are hopeful over a fifth-gen Supra that there are forums) that Toyota filed a trademark for the name “Toyota S-FR” in late May. You can see the filing here:

Illustration for article titled Why Did Toyota Just Trademark The Name S-FR?

Definitely an odd choice, considering how close it is to the Scion FR-S. It’s the same three letters, just rearranged!

At least four possibilities exist here. One: the S-FR is some kind of replacement for the FR-S. Two: It’s for an all-new car, possibly even the BMW/Toyota sports car joint venture, although I hope not because that name is kind of terrible and I’m holding out for “Supra.” Three: It was reserved to keep other automakers away from something so similar to FR-S. Four: It means nothing.

Well, maybe five. The forum speculates it’s for a cheaper sports car to slot below the FR-S in price and performance. But those rumors come from the Australian magazines, and considering the FR-S’ slow sales of late, I have a hard time believing such a car will come to fruition, let alone in the power-mad U.S. market.

What does it all mean? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.

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