Meet the GR Super Sport Concept: a hybrid supercar built by Toyota’s racing division
Toyota Gazoo Racing has built a road car concept based on endurance racing technology
Toyota’s racing division has revealed a high-performance hybrid sports car concept inspired by its World Endurance Championship competition cars.
The GR Super Sport Concept made its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon today to showcase what the firm has learnt from its Le Mans racing programme and how that can benefit Toyota’s road cars.
Beneath the race-car-like exterior sits a twin-turbocharged 2.4-litre V6 engine mated to a pair of high-power lithium-ion battery-powered electric motors. It’s the same unit used in the race car and produces a combined 986bhp.
Toyota says the high-efficiency electric system and lean-burn engine are engineered to deliver high power while still being relatively environmentally friendly.
It’s likely that a detuned version of this system will be used in the forthcoming sports car collaboration between BMW and Toyota.
Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota Gazoo Racing, said: “Rather than developing production cars into sports cars, we aim to work out how to incorporate the know-how gained from racing and rallying into production cars. This is how sporting competition contributes to Toyota Gazoo Racing’s efforts to make ever-better cars.
“Thus, this is the starting point for Toyota’s completely new challenge to develop sports cars from active race cars. 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.”
After Porsche and Audi pulled out of the World Endurance Championship in the past two seasons to focus on the all-electric motorsport series Formula E, Toyota has reaffirmed its commitment to the championship, saying its continued participation is “highly beneficial to the development of cutting-edge hybrid and electrified vehicle systems”.
The GR Super Sport Concept is a showcase for what the recently developed Gazoo Racing Masters of the Nurburgring (GRMN) division is capable of. The new performance arm of Toyota has just released its first car, the Yaris GRMN.
Featuring a supercharged 1.8-litre engine, uprated suspension and rorty exhaust system, it’s transformed the humble city car it’s based on into a genuine hot hatch contender. It comes at a price, though – at more than £26,000, there are bigger, more powerful rivals available, such as the Hyundai i30 N and Honda Civic Type R.
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