Toyota Won’t Confirm Whether GR Hypercar Road Version Is Canceled
Reports claim that a prototype caught fire at Fuji Speedway last month.
Toyota created plenty of hype when it first showed off the GR Super Sport concept back in 2018. We even got a closer look at a newer prototype of the when Toyota took one out for a spin at the Circuit de la Sarthe late last year. Now, however, we're learning that the high-performance road car may have been canceled entirely, according to reports from Racer.
The GR Super Sport became Toyota's road-going counterpart to its WEC Hypercar entry, despite initially predating the introduction of the Hypercar rules. Now, it appears the road car project may have been axed after a fire allegedly damaged a pre-production prototype in an incident at Fuji Speedway. Racer reported the news from an unspecified Japanese media source.
Contacted by The Drive, Toyota declined to comment as to whether the alleged incident at Fuji Speedway happened or not. Queried as to the status of the overall project, Toyota Motorsports Communications representative Sam Mahoney stated, "The GR Super Sport remains a concept at this time while Toyota studies the potential commercialization of this car." It doesn't clarify much one way or the other. At best, it makes it clear that the GR Super Sport is by no means a sure thing at this stage.
The concept road car was originally outfitted with a 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a hybrid system developed from Toyota's Le Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid racecar. The combination was said to be capable of delivering 986 horsepower and was mated with an all-wheel-drive system to best put that monumental power to the tarmac. Notably, Autocar went as far as citing unspecified sources in May that suggested the production road car could even exceed this power figure by running an upgraded three-motor hybrid system.
The WEC Hypercar class was intended to herald a new era for the series, in which automakers would build road-going versions of their race cars for public consumption. However, this requirement was subsequently dropped and most automakers have abandoned any plans to produce road-going versions of their racecars. Thus, Toyota's WEC entry won't be affected by a decision to abandon the road-car program.
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has served as Toyota's competition in the 2021 season with its SCG 007 racecar. though the Alpine A480 is also competing this year, grandfathered into the class from an earlier LMP1 design. Entries from Peugeot and Ferrari are coming down the line, joining the competition in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Toyota got as far as using a questionnaire to feel customers out earlier this year. It suggests preparations for a launch were being taken in earnest, so an alleged cancellation comes as somewhat of a surprise. One would also suspect that multiple test mules would be used for even a highly limited production run, so the idea that the destruction of a single prototype could derail the entire program is a little extraordinary. Whether the GR Super Sport does eventually see the light of day will be revealed in due time.
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