Toyota GR Super Sport Hypercar Is Real, Likely Shares Drivetrain Parts With Le Mans Winner
Of course Toyota was already building and testing a car for the new Hypercar class at Le Mans. Bonus: it’s loaded with the company’s stellar LMP1 tech.
Did you think you would miss the screaming 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Toyota TS050 Hybrid that just won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second time in a row? You probably won't. Toyota has a running, driving version of its Le Mans prototype-inspired GR Super Sport concept that was announced last year with that very V6 engine and a THS-R hybrid system derived from the LMP1 car itself.
Toyota released footage of its new hypercar in action around Fuji Speedway on Sunday. While you can't hear the engine note, you can see Toyota CEO (and noted race-hoon) Akio Toyoda take it for a drive. He seems pretty pleased with the new car which will become the TS050 prototype's replacement at Le Mans.
It's not too surprising to see that Toyota already has a running and driving prototype of this new hypercar, either. Top LMP1-class endurance racing has had but one true constant in the past few years: Toyota. While other manufacturers came and went from Le Mans' top class and plenty of privateer LMP1 efforts failed to ever get on the manufacturer cars' pace, Toyota has long been around with its TS050.
"Toyota vs. Itself" was the issue the World Endurance Championship hoped to fix when it unveiled a new Hypercar spec to replace the LMP1s on Friday. Toyota, always along for the ride, announced its intention to run a GR Super Sport-based racer shortly after Hypercar was publicly confirmed as really, truly happening for the 2020-2021 WEC season. The manufacturer has been heavily involved in the formation of the Hypercar class from the start, and knew what was coming.
So far, the new class looks promising, with the Aston Martin Valkyrie already announced as the GR Super Sport's competitor.
The GR Super Sport concept makes about 1,000 horsepower, but will have to be detuned to about 750 horsepower for the new racing spec, which also mandates a minimum race weight of 2,425 pounds. It's even cooler that these should have more correlation to ultra-high-end road cars, with the rules mandating that at least 20 related cars be sold to the public.
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What’s more, the cars will actually have to be de-tuned from street spec to meet class regulations.