Toyota debuts Le Mans-inspired GR Super Sport concept

Toyota on Friday presented a supercar concept with a design influenced by the hugely successful TS050 Hybrid Le Mans prototype that competes in the World Endurance Championship.

The concept, called the GR Super Sport, was shown for the first time at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon tuning fest, where Toyota also presented its latest performance offerings and race cars.

(Toyota)

The GR Super Sport was the star, however. Toyota says it built the concept to show how the latest technologies developed for motorsports, namely the WEC, can be incorporated in something resembling a road car. The automaker boasts that the concept is composed of mostly the same main parts as the TS050 Hybrid; for example, the internal carbon fiber structure is an almost exact copy of the structure in the race car.

And Toyota isn't just talking philosophically. The automaker actually wants to add motorsports-honed technologies into future sports cars.

(Toyota)

You see, the GR in the name not only references Toyota's Gazoo Racing motorsports division but also the recently established GR performance sub-brand. There are rumors GR, which may end up being rebranded TRD for the United States, will be the brand under which Toyota sells its modern-day Supra. You’ll notice parts of the design of the GR Super Sport are common to the new Supra, albeit exaggerated. This can be seen particularly in the shape of the rear fenders and side windows.

Hopefully the parts of the powertrain will also be common to the Supra. A 2.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 is mounted behind the cabin and sends drive to the rear wheels. An electric motor-generator is connected to this engine and also drives the rear wheels. A second motor-generator sits up front, thus forming an all-wheel-drive system. The combined output of the concept is 986 horsepower.

(Toyota)

“This is the starting point for Toyota's completely new challenge to develop sports cars from active race cars,” Gazoo Racing boss Shigeki Tomoyama said at the reveal. “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.”

Among the other attractions on Toyota’s stand was the 2017 TS050 Hybrid, 2018 Yaris WRC rally car, 2018 Lexus LC endurance racer, and some of the offerings from the GR brand such as the 86 GR and Yaris GRMN. More of our coverage on the Tokyo Auto Salon can be found at Motor Authority's dedicated hub.