Toyota is building a supercar. Why? Because the Japanese automaker committed to continue racing in the World Endurance Championship, and as the current Le Mans Prototype class phases out, regulators installed the exciting Le Mans Hypercar class in its place. And per the rules, if Toyota wants to race in the class, it needs to make at least 25 of the race cars into a production car any of us can buy.
So, here’s our best look at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Super Sport thus far. The supercar bowed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, wherefor the the third year in a row. Perhaps surprisingly, the prototype Toyota brought was a roadster without a fixed roof. That certainly piques my interest in the GR Super Sport.
Alex Wurz, a former GR racing driver, drove the prototype for a demonstration lap ahead of the big race, and when Toyota brought home the checkered flag, the supercar played a part in the celebrations as well. Toyota wants the GR Super Sport race car to continue its streak of championships at Le Mans, after all.
We don’t have particular details about the production car, but Le Mans Hypercar class regulations dictate power outputs no greater than 670 horsepower and a weight of around 2,270 pounds. And this will be a hybrid; the rules require an electrified powertrain. Specifically, the front axle will boast a motor-generator and it can supply up to 268 hp on its own, aside from the traditional internal-combustion engine. The originalcar featured a twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter V6 engine married to an electric motor, and the combined output sat at 986 hp.
The new regulatory class will kick off in 2021 after a delay thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. So far, aside from Toyota’s confirmed entry, we know Renault’s Alpine division, Aston Martin, Peugeot andeach plan their own entries as well.