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Toyota confirms ‘super sportscar’ production
GR Super Sport Concept set for production with hypercar-rivalling hybrid power
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20 Jun 2018
TOYOTA has confirmed that the GR Super Sport Concept will be put into production as a road-going version of its Le Mans racecar, and it is set to rival the upcoming 760kW Mercedes-AMG Project One and 843kW Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercars.
Speaking to GoAuto, Toyota Australia motorsport and lifestyle public relations manager James Wang revealed that the Japanese marque’s local division has its hand up high for the production model.
“Toyota Australia is constantly reviewing its product line-up to ensure we provide a range of exciting vehicles that best suits the needs of our guests,” he said. “Should the vehicle become available, we would certainly be interested.”
While official details on the hypercar are scarce, Toyota has said it will use the same hybrid drivetrain technology found in the Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid racecar that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans World Endurance Championship (WEC) race in France over the weekend.
The petrol-electric set-up in question pairs a mid-mounted 2.4-litre twin-turbocharged direct-injection V6 engine with a Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R) powertrain for a combined power output of 735kW.
According to Toyota Gazoo Racing president Shigeki Tomoyama, the decision to produce a hypercar forms part of the company’s race-to-road philosophy that continues to result in the regular model line-up benefiting from motorsport technologies and know-how.
“We started this project because we believe that creating a super sportscar that delivers the same appeal as the TS050 Hybrid greatly adds to Toyota’s involvement in WEC,” he said.
“And at some point in the near future, customers will have a chance to get behind the wheel of this incredible machine and experience its astonishing power and driving performance.”
Revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January this year, the GR Super Sport Concept shares several of its styling elements with the mechanically related TS050 Hybrid, such as its low, wide racecar shape and carbon-fibre chassis, albeit with smoother, more passenger car-like body panels.
However, the racecar’s most polarising feature – its droopy-looking headlight design – is not found on the show car, which goes without any front lighting. Nonetheless, headlights will have to be added for the road-going version.
Rolling on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 335/40 Bridgestone Potenza semi-slick tyres, the GR Super Sport Concept looks ready to attack both racetracks and roads, just like the production model will.
It appears that Toyota’s move to make the GR Super Sport Concept a reality was inspired by WEC’s decision to introduce a hypercar class featuring the fastest racecars for the 2020/2021 racing season.
Under the provisional rules for this new segment, racecars need to be more production model-based and feature a single Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) hybrid unit on the front axle and an internal-combustion engine driving the rear wheels.
Regulations will also require the former to be available on road-going versions, while aesthetics are strangely set to be prioritised over aerodynamics.
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