Since the Toyota MR2 went out of production in 2007 there hasn’t been much evidence of sportiness in the Japanese automaker’s lineup beyond the somewhat underpowered GT86, but that’s about to change in a big way as it’s now been confirmed a production version of the 735kW GR Super Sport is in the pipeline.
At the moment we only have images of the concept first shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January of this year, but news of a production version was released by Toyota on the eve of the Les Mans 24 hour race. That’s very appropriate as the GR concept shares its hybrid powerplant with the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 race car that competes at events like Le Mans.
The system in question uses a 2.4-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine driving the rear wheels, which is paired to a couple of electric motors powering the front wheels that also contribute to driving the rear axle. In the racing version of the car a lithium ion battery is charged by two motor generator units, with one housed in each wheel.
But before we get too excited, Toyota does have a little history in this area. This isn’t the first time Toyota has looked at building a production Le Mans racer, because in 1998 the company brought us the GT-One (TS020) Le Mans Prototype where a road-going concept was produced with a view towards building a handful of production models. In the end only two were homologated for road use, and one of the pair is currently on display at Toyota Motorsport’s headquarters in Germany.
Of course, even when a GR Super Sport becomes available it’s not going to be in a price range accessible to most Toyota customers. The good news is that this isn’t the only sports car Toyota is going to be putting into production as a new Supra is also imminent that will be something aimed at a much wider audience than the GR Super Sport. – AFP Relaxnews