Race-influenced model showcases technology grown from Toyota’s Le Mans racing programme and emphasises brand's intent

Toyota Gazoo is showing its GR Super Sport Concept at the Le Mans 24 Hours, suggesting the model could preview an entry into the new hypercar-based class that'll race from 2020.

Earlier today, the FIA announced that models such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie and McLaren Senna will be allowed to race in competition form with the introduction of a new top class. Toyota's decision to show its hybrid concept, which looks close to the form that will be adopted by such models, therefore hints at intentions to be part of this new pack.

Autocar is awaiting comment from Toyota regarding its Le Mans showing, but it suggests both the engineering and design of the GR Super Sport foreshow what's to come with a future Le Mans model and a roadgoing equivalent.

First shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the concept is based on the company's World Endurance Championship prototype racer, the TS050 Hybrid. The concept features the same carbonfibre structure as the racing model and has a 2.4-litre V6 petrol engine with electric assistance behind its cockpit.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

The LMP1-category TS050, which is competing in this year's championship and will start from pole at the crowning Le Mans 24 Hours round this weekend, delivers a combined 987bhp to all four wheels. The provisional regulations for the hypercar-based 2020 Le Mans class would cap power outputs at 965bhp, however.

If Gazoo Racing's concept does spawn a road model, it will sit above the new Supra, which is due late this year. Gazoo, Toyota's performance and racing arm, also recently introduced the Yaris GRMN hot hatch, which marked Gazoo's arrival in Britain and serves as its entry-level model.

The Yaris GRMN sticks with turbocharged petrol power, but the Supra, which has been part-developed alongside the new BMW Z4, is due with four and six-cylinder engines, the latter of which will be available with electronic assistance.

Gazoo president Shigeki Tomoyama said: "If the e-Palette concept [an autonomous pod that was revealed in Las Vegas] is the next generation of the horse-drawn carriage, the GR Super Sport Concept would be the polar opposite as the next-generation racehorse. Its appeal is more personal, like that of a much-loved horse to its owner.

"Despite the differences between the two concept models, both are electrified vehicles equipped with the latest IT technologies and are set to become safe and environmentally friendly connected cars."

More content:

BMW 8 Series leaks onto internet ahead of Le Mans reveal

Toyota GR HV Sports concept gets unique H-pattern auto gearbox

Join the debate

Comments
2

12 January 2018
Just take my money!

12 January 2018

"President of Gazoo Racing, Shigeki Tomoyama, said: "If the e-Palette Concept [an autonomous pod that was revealed earlier this week in Las Vegas] is the next generation of the horse-drawn carriage, the GR Super Sport Concept would be the polar opposite as the next-generation racehorse. Its appeal is more personal, like that of a much-loved horse to its owner."

 

Perfect analysis by an insider, just because we are going for electric mass transportation and daily BEV cars, does not mean we still cant have a small amout of new cars with petrol engines, even in hybrid form.

We still need to catter for those who look for an experience when driving, the sounds, the feeling. No one gets the hair on their backs up seeing an EV go by. No we just need someone to come up with a much cleaner Biofuel so the environmentalists can be quiet aswell.

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week