Toyota Gazoo GR Super Sport Concept hints at Supra hybrid powertrain

Toyota Gazoo GR Super Sport Concept

Race-influenced model showcases technology grown from Toyota’s Le Mans racing programme and emphasises brand’s intent

Toyota Gazoo has revealed a new car called the GR Super Sport Concept that hints at the brand’s hybrid intentions for its hotly anticipated Supra successor.

On show at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the concept is based on the division’s World Endurance Championship prototype racer, the TS050 Hybrid. It features the same carbonfibre structure and nestles a 2.4-litre V6 petrol engine with electric assistance behind the cockpit.

The LMP1 category TS050, which is competing in this year’s championship and crowning Le Mans 24 Hours round, delivers a combined 987bhp to all four wheels, suggesting the concept would do the same.

Although only a concept, the GR Super Sport continues to signal the hunger for Toyota’s performance arm, Gazoo Racing, to produce more high-performance cars for the road, particularly ones that utilise electrified power.

The newly launched division will introduce a new sports car, which could adopt the name Supra, late this year – and this new concept suggests it’ll directly benefit from technology developed in the TS050.

The Supra successor will become a halo car, following the new Yaris GRMN, which marked Gazoo’s arrival in Britain (Autocar has just driven it). The Yaris model sticks with turbocharged petrol power, but the Supra, part-developed alongside the next BMW Z4 thanks to a tech tie-up with the companies, is due with four and six-cylinder engines, the latter of which will come available with electronic assistance.

President of Gazoo Racing, Shigeki Tomoyama, said: “If the e-Palette Concept [an autonomous pod that was revealed earlier this week in Las Vegas] is the next generation of the horse-drawn carriage, the GR Super Sport Concept would be the polar opposite as the next-generation racehorse. Its appeal is more personal, like that of a much-loved horse to its owner.

“Despite the differences between the two concept models, both are electrified vehicles equipped with the latest IT technologies and are set to become safe and environmentally friendly connected cars.”

Toyota Gazoo has also brought an 86 GR (based on the GT86) and the Vitz GRMN, a limited-run Japan-only hot hatch, to Tokyo. The division is showing cars that have competed in the World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship and also national rallies and races – emphasising its competition roots.

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Source: Autocar Online

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