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Tokyo show: Toyota shocks with GR HV Sports Concept

T-Swift: With its targa-style roof and motorsport-derived hybrid powertain, the GR HV Sports Concept promises sportscar styling and performance.

GR HV Sports Concept revealed ahead of Tokyo, but next Toyota Supra looms large

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Toyota logo6 Oct 2017

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

SUPRA fans hoping to see the next-generation Toyota sportscar at the Tokyo motor show this month best look away, because the GR HV Sports Concept is not what anyone expected.

Thankfully, this open-top, two-door show car inspired by the Toyota Sports 800 from the 1960s and the iconic Supra is just an 86 with an extensive bodykit, meaning the highly anticipated halo model could still break cover in Japan on October 25.

The fruits of BMW and Toyota’s sportscar partnership are yet to be revealed in production trim, but the Bavarian car-maker uncovered the Concept Z4 at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August, while a Supra show car has been long rumoured for Tokyo.

The GR HV name is an acronym comprised of Gazoo Racing – Toyota’s motorsport arm – and Hybrid Vehicle, which is a nod to the concept’s endurance racing-derived hybrid powertrain.

Its eye-catching exterior design is reminiscent of the Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid that competes in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), with the show car’s droopy LED headlights providing the most obvious connection.

Finished in matte-black paint, the GR HV upgrades the 86 shape with a targa-style roof, five-bolt wheels, bonnet vents, a front splitter, twin front air intakes, a rear diffuser, a centrally mounted exhaust pipe, a rear lip spoiler and swoopy LED tail-lights.

It is unclear if the coupe previews a targa version of the 86, which has been on the market for more than five years now.

Measuring in at 4395mm long, 1805mm wide and 1280mm tall, the GR HV is 155mm longer, 30mm wider and 40mm shorter than a regular 86.

Inside, a push-button ignition is found in the top of the gear lever, which is for an automatic transmission that can become a six-speed manual using an H-pattern gate at the push of a button.

Thanks to a front-engine, rear-drive layout, the concept promises sportscar handling, with its hybrid battery located in the middle to optimise weight distribution and achieve a low centre of gravity.

Sharing the Tokyo spotlight with the GR HV will be the Tj Cruiser, which Toyota says is designed for ‘work’ and ‘play’ lifestyles, with ‘T’ standing for ‘Toolbox’, while ‘j’ refers to ‘joy’.

Using a part-time all-wheel-drive system, the Tj Cruiser is underpinned by a next-gen Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which is powered by ‘2.0-litre class’ petrol and hybrid powertrains.

Rolling on 20-inch alloy wheels, the high-riding show car has a bold, squared-off exterior design, which has a scratch- and dirt-resistant coating for the bonnet, roof and fenders.

Flexibility is the interior’s speciality, with items up to three metres long accommodated thanks to fold-flat front and rear passenger seats, while wide openings for the swinging rear door and sliding side doors make loading objects easy.

Checking in at 4300mm long, 1775m wide and 1620mm tall with a 2750mm wheelbase, the Tj Cruiser is comparable in size to the C-HR.

The Tokyo motor show kicks off on October 25, with Toyota’s stand expected to be one of the busiest, especially if the Supra rumours ring true.

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