The checkered flag has waved at the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Toyota claimed its first overall win in after 20 attempts. In addition, earlier in the week leading up to the victory, the automaker announced a new supercar headed for production using technology gleaned from the TS050 LMP1 race car.
Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is no small feat, a point underscored by Toyota entering 47 cars prior to this year’s finish at the top of the podium. The TS050 race car represents the pinnacle of Toyota hybrid technology. As a highlight of the advancements gained with the hybrid system, the team claims the 2018 race car used 35-percent less fuel than 2012, when Toyota returned to endurance racing. The ability to stretch fuel stops and allow for more advanced pit strategy certainly helped the team.
The fuel economy technology from the unlimited LMP1 race car will now carry over to a production hyper car by Toyota Gazoo Racing. The new model is the GR Super Sport concept and carries a twin turbocharged six-cylinder with a total system output of 1000 horsepower. The GR Super Sport concept shares a lot of its silhouette with the TS050, and the team alludes to the underpinnings being similar as well.
“We started this project because we believe that creating a super sports car that delivers the same appeal as the TS050 Hybrid greatly adds to Toyota's involvement in WEC,” says Shigeki Tomoyama, President of GAZOO Racing Company. “And at some point in the near future, customers will have a chance to get behind the wheel of this incredible machine and experience its astonishing power and driving performance.”
The hypercar market is getting crowded in recent years, but Toyota believes they have a shot at standing out. With 1000 horsepower and race-car looks, we can hope the concept reaches production with minimal changes.