Toyota had showcased the GR Super Sport Concept recently and has now confirmed plans to put the GR Super Sport Concept into production at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans. The GR Super Sport will be a next-generation hypercar that uses hybrid technology developed via the company’s LMP1 program in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). The Japanese automaker has also released some live photos from the big unveiling in France.
Making the announcement, Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota Gazoo Racing president said, "Competing in the World Endurance Championship - one of the most demanding motorsports series - and racing at Le Mans - one of the most iconic races - helps us to advance the development of our world-leading hybrid electric technology and enables us to transfer the knowledge we gain into our production cars. As the automotive industry is approaching an era of big changes, we will continue our passion for making cars that are truly exciting. 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." Adding further he said, "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. 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."
Under the hood, the GR Super Sport Concept gets a mid-mounted 2.4-liter biturbo V6 and the race-derived Toyota Hybrid System-Racing to produce a total of 986 HP of maximum output. The same powertrain option can be found in the TS050 Hybrid. The 986 HP of power produced by the engine can be intentional looking at the significance of the number 86 for Toyota. However, it’s not just because of the classic AE86 but now also because it was the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans that the Japanese automaker finally won this year.
The upcoming GR Super Sport will be Toyota's competition machine under the new rules. For the 2020 season, the fastest endurance racing machines will be more production-based vehicles, while according to the provisional rules, exterior design will take precedence over aerodynamics, and there will new homologation procedures. Under the regulations, the vehicles will be allowed a single KERS hybrid unit at the front axle and a combustion engine driving the rear wheels and the regulations will also require for the KERS system to be available on production cars.
However according to the revealed images the machine makes liberal use of carbon fiber as it appears that the lightweight material makes up the entire monocoque underneath the low-slung body. Toyota appears to be using rear-mounted cameras instead of mirrors that would likely need to change on the production version instead of traditional pieces of glass. Till now, only Japan allows the use of rear-mounted cameras instead of mirrors.
Toyota originally unveiled the GR Super Sport concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January 2018 and it’s so soon that the automaker announced the GR Super Sport's production as a surprise. At the first unveil, Tomoyama said, "Although it will be some time before you all have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, I hope that the GR Super Sport Concept will give you a taste of what we aim to achieve with our next-generation sports cars." Hence, it was not expected by Toyota to announce the production-spec of the concept this soon.
Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further updates on the production-spec of the Toyota GR Super Sport concept.