Toyota’s recent Le Mans win with its hybrid racing car has convinced it to green light the production of its GR Super Sport Concept. This means Toyota will join the exclusive hypercar hybrid power club which has members like Mercedes-AMG Project One and Aston Martin Valkyrie.
Official technical details on the hypercar haven’t been released, Toyota has hinted that 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 the TS050 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 which compares well to rival Mercedes-AMG Project One’s 760kW and Aston Martin Valkyrie’s 843kW.
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.
The car was revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January this year. The production GR Super Sport Concept will share several of its styling elements with the mechanically related TS050 Hybrid, such as its low, wide racecar shape and carbon-fibre chassis. Aggressive styling will be toned down to accommodate passenger car-like body panels.
Unlike, the race car’s droopy-looking headlight design which is not found on the show car will be modified to house a set of headlights.
The car will roll 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.
Analysts are of the opinion that Toyota’s decision move to make the GR Super Sport Concept a road going production model was most likely 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 also suggest that the cars will also require the former to be available on road-going versions.