Toyota GR HV Sports Concept: hybrid GT86 show car debuts new powertrain

Published: 25 October 2017

► Toyota GR HV concept
► Targa-topped hybrid sports car
► At Tokyo 2017 show

Toyota pulled the wraps off an all-new hybrid concept sports car called GR HV Sports at the 2017 Tokyo motor show, and this sinister-looking coupe points to Toyota’s wish to expand its sports car range – with this surprisingly production-ready looking concept.

In a bid to win the battle for the most awkwardly monikered car on earth, this Targa-topped two-seater has its engine in the front and power is sent rearwards, echoing the layout of the venerable Supra – which is a far better name.

Wait: is this the new Supra?

Sadly not. The GR HV Sports Concept isn’t anywhere near as imposing at the FT-1 Concept unveiled way back in 2014 – the car we are expecting to replace the Supra, twinned with the next BMW Z4. For a start it’s a Targa, whereas CAR has reported that production versions of the FT-1 will be coupe-only, and the Z4 will get a folding hardtop.

It doesn’t look like any of the camouflaged versions of the FT-1 road car we’ve spied testing near the Nurburgring, either.

While its side profile looks similar to the GT86’s, this car is longer, lower and wider, and on a different platform. It’s an altogether more purposeful design that uses tech gleaned from the TS050 Hybrid – the company’s LMP1 prototype racer that’s so far been famously unlucky at the Le Mans 24-hour race.

Toyota GR HV interior

What’s new on the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept?

The most interesting feature we’ve gleaned from this set of images is a novel take on the automatic gearbox – this one features a manual mode that eschews paddleshifters for a faux-H-gate.

On top of the gearknob there’s a fighter jet-style ignition switch, while a closer look at the switchgear reveals what looks like GT86 parts – in particular for the heater and air-con controls and the traction control buttons.

The hybrid battery is mounted near the centrepoint of the car behind the seats, which apparently improves its performance as a sports car.

While we’re unsure at this point whether this car will even make production, Dr Johan Van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, announced at the Frankfurt motor show that the huge Japanese carmaker is intending on producing performance hybrid products that promise a more dynamic driving character.

These comments were made while the C-HR Hy-Power Concept was unveiled – a racier version of the firm’s family SUV – so it’s possible the car we’re looking at here will supply the drivetrain for a project like that instead. 

Toyota GR HV

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By Gareth Evans

Contributor, historic racer and now running sister title Motor Cycle News's website