Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Toyota's made a Le Mans auto for the road

Toyota's made a Le Mans auto for the road

Outside of occasionally letting its freak flag fly with green cars like the Prius and Mirai, Toyota is generally regarded as a pretty straight-laced automaker. "Although it will be some time before people have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, I hope that the GR Super Sport Concept will give a taste of what we aim to achieve with our next-generation sports cars". Just unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, it incorporates hybrid technology honed through participation in the FIA WEC - Toyota says it's composed of mostly the same main parts as the TS050 Hybrid race vehicle.

Interestingly there's no comment on the styling of the GR Super Sport, so we'll come out and say now that it looks absolutely fantastic. The concept has a pair of cameras which you expect from a concept. Peeling away the car's skin fully reveals the pushrod-style front and rear double wishbone suspension, tidy cockpit and massive 18x13-inch wheels.

Gazoo wants to be to Toyota what AMG is to Mercedes - a home-grown sub-brand specialising in performance-tuned versions of vanilla-spec Toyotas. In fact, rumors persist that the upcoming Supra sports vehicle revival will wear some sort of Gazoo Racing badge.

The heart and soul of the new GR Super Sport concept is the hybrid powertrain, comprising a biturbo 2.4-liter V6 engine for a combined total output of 986 horsepower (735 kilowatts).

GAZOO Racing Company president Shigeki Tomoyama said the concept was the starting point for a broader plan to develop sports cars from race cars, which suggests this project could be separate from the Supra altogether. Its appeal is more personal, like that of a much-loved horse to its owner. It's called the Toyota Hybrid System - Racing (THS-R) - but so far there are no other details about it, such as how many electric motors are in there or the capacity of the battery and performance/efficiency numbers. Put some decals on it, and you'd swear it was a racing vehicle.

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