After some speculation, Toyota confirmed that it will indeed introduce a road-going version of its TS050 Hybrid race car, which, with its 2020 Le Mans win, has now won Le Mans three times in a row. The car, named the GR Super Sport, made its public debut at the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans. This streetable version allows Toyota to homologate the car so that it can race in the upcoming Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) class, the new premier class for endurance racing.
Toyota has been teasing us with this car since early 2018, when it introduced the GR Super Sport concept at the Tokyo auto show. Then, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota announced it would build the car, and now we have an idea of what it will look like. While we don’t know exactly what will power the car, we know what drives the TS050 and Toyota has said that the two share “mostly the same parts.” That means a hybrid powertrain with a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter direct-injection V-6 and an electric motor that produce a total output of 986 horsepower.
At the Le Mans 24 Hours event this past weekend, the customized GR Super Sport convertible—which is still a development model—was driven for a demonstration lap around the track with former Toyota Gazoo driver Alex Wurz behind the wheel. And with the Toyota Gazoo Racing team wins, the GR Super Sport can make a legitimate claim to having race-winning genes. It also makes good on the promise that Toyota Gazoo Racing president Shigeki Tomoyama made in 2018, that Toyota would “develop sports cars from active race cars.” Looks like Tomoyama-san is a man of his word.
While next year’s calendar for the World Endurance Championship consists of six events instead of the eight as a result of COVID-19, that could still change again should the virus continue on unabated. We’ll keep you updated as the health crisis continues to evolve.