Toyota’s Gazoo Racing performance subsidiary has unveiled its Le Mans-derived GR Super Sport Concept at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, with almost 1,000bhp on tap.
The plain white GR Super Sport Concept looks to have been directly lifted from Toyota’s World Endurance Championship (WEC) programme. It features the same 986bhp engine as the Toyota TS050 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype – a 2.4-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.
Gazoo Racing claims the Super Sport Concept offers “both ultimate power and environmental performance” thanks to the engine used in Toyota’s LMP1 programme during the 2016 and 2017 WEC campaigns. It was the same unit that helped the TS050 Hybrid blitz the Le Mans lap record last year.
Design-wise the GR Super Sport Concept looks very much like it belongs on the start grid of the Le Mans 24 Hours, with it’s massively flared wheel arches, large rear wing and shark fin above the rear engine cover. It’s also been fitted with race-derived 18-inch wheels and slick Bridgestone tyres.
The GR Super Sports is definitely a concept for now given that it runs on slick tyres and an engine taken directly from a racing car, but the Japanese manufacturer hinted at a possible limited-production release. Gazoo president Shigeki Tomoyama said: “This is the starting point for Toyota’s completely new challenge to develop sports cars from active race cars.”
It’s not the first time Toyota had ideas for a production Le Mans racer. In 1998, when Toyota ran the GT-One (TS020) Le Mans Prototype, they created a road-going concept with an eye on building a handful of production models.
Only two prototypes were homologated for road use, one of which can be found at Toyota Motorsport’s headquarters in Germany. Should Toyota decide to bring the new GR Super Sport Concept into production, it will probably be in very limited numbers.