The new Toyota GR Super Sport hypercar has made its first public outing in development form ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
A prototype version of the machine, which is based on the double Le Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid prototype, completed a lap of the French circuit ahead of the 2020 race. Driven by former Formula 1 racer Alex Wurz, the car appeared in the familiar camouflage livery of Toyota’s GR sports division and was used to 'return' the Le Mans trophy to race organisers.
The GR Super Sport road car was first shown in concept form in 2018 and will be used as the basis for a racing version that will run in the new Le Mans Hypercar class (LMH) in the race next year. Toyota has described it as “a hypercar with race car pedigree and performance.”
The LMH rules will allow for both race-honed versions of road-going hypercars and bespoke prototypes. Designed to offer considerable technical freedom, the LMH hybrid systems will allow for 268bhp electric motors on the front axles of cars, offering four-wheel drive. The LMH rules were finalised earlier this year and will allow for cars with a total power output of 670bhp with a minimum weight of 1100kg.
Toyota last detailed the GR Super Sport concept last year, before the LMH rules had been finalised, and said the car was being developed with a 986bhp twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain to match the initially planned maximum power output of LMH cars. It's not known whether Toyota will maintain this figure for the eventual road-going GR Super Sport or match it to the 670bhp maximum for the race car.
Former Toyota racer Wurz said: “I could already feel that the GR Super Sport has the potential for incredible performance."
Toyota will face opposition in the new LMH class from Peugeot, which confirmed its entry earlier this week. Racing teams ByKolles and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus are also building machines for the new class.