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Toyota GR Super Sport: LMP1 looks with hybrid power destined for the next Supra

Published: 12 January 2018

► GR Super Sport Concept
► Features hybrid powertrain
► Could give insight into next Supra

Late last year, Toyota teased us with the silhouette of a new GR Super Sport Concept. Designed to be a showcase for the brand’s WEC knowhow, the Gazoo Racing Super Sport Concept has been unveiled at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, and it’s an incredible machine.

As expected, the new GR Super Sport Concept looks very much like a prototype LMP1 or LMP2 car, and features a low-slung profile with a stabilising shark fin and bulbous driver cockpit. While the design of the car is clearly influenced by the Toyota FT-1 concept and current road cars, there’s a chunk of racing LMP1 DNA here, too. 

Most importantly, the WEC influence extends to the Super Sport Concept’s engine, as it’s powered by a twin-turbo, direct injection 2.4-litre V6 engine combined with a Hybrid System - Racing powertrain. Toyota says the concept’s power unit features technology and systems derived from its endurance racing program.

Race to road

The idea of bringing racing technology to the road isn’t a new idea, but it’s one Toyota is embracing more and more. Earlier this week, we drove the incredible Toyota Yaris GRMN, a track-ready hot hatch for the road – and this GR Super Sport Concept is the next model in the race to road push.

While the Yaris GRMN gains most of its technology from Toyota’s rally program, the GR Super Sport Concept features learnings from LMP1 – a class in which Toyota is now the only works manufacturer. In many ways, cars as interesting as the Super Sport Concept are justifying Toyota’s decision to continue to race at Le Mans.

‘Rather than developing production cars into sports cars, we aim to work out how to incorporate the know-how gained from racing and rallying into production cars,’ said Shigeki Tomoyama, President of Toyota Gazoo Racing. ‘This is how sporting competition contributes to Toyota Gazoo Racing’s efforts to make ever-better cars.’

The next Supra

That sounds great, but the GR Super Sport Concept isn’t a road car, so where’s the WEC technology going? According to several rumours, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s hybrid tech could be heading to one of its most anticipated cars ever; the next generation Supra.

The Toyota Yaris GRMN is the first Gazoo Racing road car to be sold in Europe, and we’ve already heard that the new Supra is going to be another. With Toyota keen to show the ties between road and track – as well as push its hybrid knowhow – the new Toyota Supra seems like the ideal beneficiary for the Super Sport Concept’s powertrain.

For everything else we know about the new Toyota Supra, keep reading.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR magazine's new online editor and tech lover