Toyota has confirmed plans to build a hybrid hypercar based on the 1,000 hp GR Super Sport Concept.
The Japanese automaker confirmed it is working on the next-generation hybrid hypercar in France today ahead of the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Lessons learned throughout its six-year LMP1 racing campaign have helped Toyota reach a point where it can confidently develop a complex, high-performance product like the GR Super Sport and bring such a vehicle to market, it says.
“Toyota has started development of a new super sports car, making use of the cutting-edge hybridelectric systems and fuel efficiency technologies that the WEC team has tested and refined during six years of competition in the series,” the company said in a statement.
“We started this project because we believe that creating a super sports car that delivers the same appeal as the TS050 Hybrid greatly adds to Toyota’s involvement in the WEC,” added Toyota Gazoo Racing boss Shigeki Tomoyama. “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.”
Like the TS050 hybrid LMP1 car that will race at Le Mans this weekend, the GR Super Sport Concept has 90-degree 2.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a powerful electric drive system, which together have a maximum output of 1,000 hp. It’s likely the production car will retain this powertrain. We’re not expecting a large departure from the GR Super Sport Concept styling-wise, either, which essentially looked like an LMP1 car with taillights.
Tomoyama says Toyota’s commitment to the GR Super Sport is representative of the automaker’s desire to keep producing exciting sports cars even as the automotive industry shifts to hybrid and electric vehicles in coming years.
“As the automotive industry is approaching an era of big changes, we will continue our passion for making cars that are truly exciting,” he said. “No matter how electronics and digital technology will continue to transform vehicles, we will make sure that our cars will not become just another commodity.”
The GR Super Sport will arrive after the new Supra, which is expected to debut sometime later this year or in early 2019. Toyota has already confirmed the new Supra will race at Le Mans in the GTE class following its debut and previewed the racing version of the highly anticipated sports coupe with the debut of the GR Supra Racing Concept in Geneva.
That’s two very exciting new products from Toyota confirmed for a debut in the very near future, along with a new motorsports program. Who says the Japanese automaker is beige and boring?
a version of this article first appeared on AutoGuide