Here’s Toyota Showing Off Its GR Super Sport Hybrid Hypercar at Le Mans
Celebrating the Toyota TS050 Hybrid’s third Le Mans victory with the prototype of its road car evolution.
Toyota first announced its road-going hybrid hypercar in January 2018, with the GR Super Sport clearly being based on the soon-retiring WEC champion TS050 Hybrid. Just like in the race car, it's the combination of a twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter V6 and the THS-R hybrid system that gives the road-bound GR Super Sport around 1,000 horsepower and all-wheel-drive, kept glued to the road further by an aero package only slightly toned down in the name of real-world usability.
Now, to celebrate its third trophy in a row, Toyota Gazoo Racing took its latest GR Super Sport development prototype for a parade lap around Circuit de la Sarthe. Whenever reaching production, the car may surprise us by featuring a trick clamshell canopy roof, yet to carry Toyota's crew in their helmets with the precious trophy onboard, this version debuted as a roadster. This dynamic demo provides us with the most detailed look at Toyota's hypercar to date.
With Toyota remaining committed to the top class of the World Endurance Championship, the Toyota TS050 Hybrid developed for the 2016 seasons is soon about to give room for the car designed for the new Hypercar class, the LMH that will also see American team SCG at Le Mans. The Toyota TS050 Hybrid leaves France as a triple Le Mans champion with seven podiums, four pole positions, the fastest ever lap and even a distance record on its belt.
Driving its road-going evolution in public for the first time, former Toyota driver Alex Wurz had this to say about the project:
"It was an honor to drive this development version of the GR Super Sport for the first time in public, and especially at a circuit like Le Mans which is so closely connected to this car. The GR Super Sport was born at Le Mans so this felt like a homecoming. This was my first time to drive the car, so a demonstration lap doesn’t allow me to push the limits but I could already feel that the GR Super Sport has the potential for incredible performance. I could feel the similarities between the GR Super Sport and the TS050 Hybrid in terms of performance, particularly the four-wheel-drive and the hybrid system. But the engineers tell me this was only a small taste of the GR Super Sport’s true performance so I am super excited to drive it again one day in the near future.”
It's wild how having "a thousand horsepower" or more is becoming the norm at this top level, yet that's clever motorsport-derived electrification for you. It's also something Professor Gordon Murray doesn't care for, citing simplicity and lightness. On the plus side, at 1,935 pounds, Toyota's triple Le Mans champion remains pretty light on its feet.
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