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Toyota trademarks S-FR name, fueling more Supra rumors

If there’s one car that can make enthusiasts’ ears perk up, it’s the Toyota Supra. Fans are eagerly awaiting the return of the car that helped make the 1990s the golden age of Japanese performance, and propelled the late Paul Walker to Fast and Furious fame.

But what if the next Supra isn’t called a Supra at all? The eagle-eyed Internet denizens of the SupraMKV forum noted that Toyota recently registered the name “S-FR” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and theorize that’s what the company’s next sports car could actually be called.

Toyota on May 28 filed its application for the name for “automobiles and structural parts thereof,” but that doesn’t guarantee it will be used on an actual car.

The name S-FR certainly fits a sports car. “S” could stand for everything from “sport” to, yes, “Supra,” while “FR” likely stands for “front engine, rear-wheel drive,” as it does in the current Scion FR-S.

But carmakers trademark names all of the time without having specific uses in mind. The S-FR name could very well end up on a completely different type of car, or a concept.

Toyota may have even just grabbed the name preemptively to block someone else’s use of a moniker that sounds confusingly similar to FR-S. Keep in mind that Toyota also renewed the Supra trademark recently.

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It’s just one more mystery surrounding Toyota’s Supra-replacing sports car. The general consensus seems to be that it will get built, but what form it will take is still up in the air.

Styling could be inspired by the FT-1 concept that rocked the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. With its classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, it makes for a good starting point, if nothing else.

Under the skin, the next Supra is expected to feature an all-new platform co-developed with BMW, that will also underpin the next iteration of the German carmaker’s Z4 sports car.

As for the powertrain, there have been several reports of a hybrid setup that would certainly fit Toyota’s M.O. A more conventional non-hybrid powertrain — with a turbocharged engine to evoke the cult-classic Supra MKIV — seems like a possibility as well.

While a new sports car will be appreciated no matter what it’s called, it would be great if Toyota revived the Supra name rather than going with the somewhat sterile designation S-FR.

They may be harder to choose, but real names will always be more evocative than the alphanumeric codes so many carmakers seem to favor these days.