Toyota GR Super Sport Hypercar Emerges at Le Mans
- on September 29, 2020
- Categories: Car Reviews
Those who saw this year’s 24 Hours at Le Mans endurance race --- sadly not from trackside this year because of COVID-19 --- will have undoubtedly been excited to see a glimpse of Toyota GR Super Sport Hypercar model. This was no digital rendering or teaser shot; we actually go to see it on the track before the race began.
This year’s Le Mans title was clinched by Toyota, in fact, completing a 387-lap performance over the 24-hour endurance race. The TS050 that the team used is closely related to the upcoming GR Super Sport, giving us even more reason to be excited. This stunning race car forms the basis of the new road car offering, and has already proven itself a most worthy hybrid performance offering from the Japanese auto giant.
While Toyota have yet to confirm the salient details on the exact powertrain to be used in the GR Super Sport, we know that the TS050 Hybrid forms a foundation. This racing hybrid operates a 2.4L direct-injection V6 engine and electric motor outputting a whopping 986hp. Since debuting at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2016, the TS050 has now taken Toyota to three consecutive victories.
Those who caught the test lap of the GR Super Sport shouldn’t read too deeply into every part of the display, however. While it is the best indication yet that Toyota has made significant progress with the road model since the idea was first unveiled back in 2018, it is not a production model. Therefore, we should expect some differences between this mule shown at Le Mans and the finished item.
One example of a difference was the roof. Toyota confirmed that the car shown at the race was “[customized] as a convertible.” From that, we can infer that they have in mind for the production model to have a regular roof. That would line up with the original design shown during the concept stage.
Another thing we might speculate on right now is cabin space. The test car was driven by Toyota’s racing driver Alex Wurz, who at more than six feet (183cm+) in height could be seen with helmet poking out above the roof height as indicated by the windshield header. Only time will tell, however, and anything else at this point is mere speculation. Keep watching this space, and perhaps at the 2021 Le Mans race, we will be treated to a proper view of something much closer to the production model.