Toyota throws its hat back in the supercar ring with 1,000-hp GR Super Sport
Earlier this year, Toyota revealed the Gazoo Racing Super Sport Concept, a virile race car-for-the road with a combination of V6 and electric motor propulsion. It showed the car again at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this month, signaling its intentions of building a production version. With technology ripped straight out of the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car, this "next-generation racehorse" will debut as a barely tamed race car with 986 hp worth of hybrid racing technology.
The auto world has already been getting excited about the Supra, which looked for a while like it would become Toyota's flagship sports car. But before the production Supra has even debuted, Toyota announces its intentions of jumping leaps and bounds above the Supra's ceiling with a production version of the GR Super Sport Concept. Toyota's not fooling around when it comes to fulfilling president Akio Toyoda's promise of delivering cars that are fun to drive.
The GR Super Sport Concept looks more like a race car than a sports coupe, and its development has hinged directly on Toyota's participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), where the TS050 Hybrid competes. The hybrid electric and fuel economy technologies that will feature in the GR supercar have been developed and refined through Toyota Gazoo Racing's WEC efforts over the past six years.
"Competing in the World Endurance Championship – one of the most demanding motorsports series – and racing at Le Mans – one of the most iconic races – helps us to advance the development of our world-leading hybrid electric technology and enables us to transfer the knowledge we gain into our production cars," explained Gazoo Racing Company president Shigeki Tomoyama.
Indeed, the GR Super Sport benefits heartily from Gazoo Racing's experience. Its combination of twin-turbo direct-injection 2.4-liter V6 engine and Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R) puts out 986 hp, ensuring that the sports coupe will perform like few other cars of this world. The GR's race-inspired construction and aero package will prevent any of those horses from going to waste.
Toyota hasn't gotten specific with a development timeline, but Tomoyama concluded the announcement by saying, "At some point in the near future, customers will have a chance to get behind the wheel of this incredible machine and experience its astonishing power and driving performance."
We like the sound of "near future" and look forward to watching the likes of Toyota, Aston Martin and Mercedes battle it out in the hybrid hypercar arena.
In the meantime, you can navigate the gallery for photos of the concept car at Le Mans and from its initial debut at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon.
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