Toyota has a lot to celebrate at Le Mans this year. With its main rivals now out of the picture, it finally bagged overall victory. And it’s marking the occasion not only by showcasing its GR Super Sport concept, but confirming that development is under way.
First revealed earlier this year at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, the Toyota GR Super Sport is as close to a (conceptual) Le Mans racer for the road as any we’ve ever seen. It packs a twin-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain derived from the one in the victorious TS050 Hybrid LMP1 racer, kicking out a combined 1,000 horsepower in a low-slung and sleek form.
Now on display at the site of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Japanese automaker confirms that “development of Toyota’s next generation of super sports car has started. It takes the cutting-edge hybrid electric systems and fuel economy technology that the TGR WEC team has tested and refined during the past six years in WEC, and showcases them in one superb package.”
Although stopping short of outright confirmation that the concept as seen will be put into production, the announcement bodes well for both the future Japanese supercar and its next Le Mans challenger. The FIA and ACO recently announced plans to replace the current LMP1 formula with a new set of street-based hypercars – a program to which Toyota, among others, has voiced support.
Once development is complete and production gets underway, Toyota’s new supercar (or hypercar) will be the first it will have offered since production of the Lexus LFA came to an end in 2012. That, of course, took the form of a super-GT with a naturally aspirated, unassisted 4.8-liter V10 mounted in the front. The GR Super Sport, meanwhile, is a mid-engined hybrid – closer in concept to LaFerrari than the 599 to which the LFA was often compared.