This is a serious disappointment.
Toyota has been making friends of its fanbase recently, launching a new, more powerful GR86 and the sublime Supra - not to mention hot Yaris and Corolla variants too. But there's another level that we've been waiting for the Japanese giant to reach. With the news that Toyota would be competing in endurance racing as part of a new hypercar class, so too came the news that a road-legal hypercar would be made too. But details have not been forthcoming; we've only seen a prototype roadster variant parading at Le Mans. In August, we heard that the car could be canceled, but Toyota would not comment on this even a few months later, suggesting that the project was still not confirmed. And now a new report from Dutch publication Autoblog proves that the automaker still can't make up its mind.
In an interview with Toyota Motorsport CEO Rob Leupen, it has become clear that Toyota is more interested in competition than consumer products, at least for this sort of project.
"We had a time - around 2018 and 2019 - when it was considered to release a road car," says Leupen. "Due to the entire energy transition from fossil fuels to more electrical support, that has been pushed into the background. The GR010s we have now are indeed based on ideas for a hypercar for the street, but those street-legal cars have been pushed back. The focus is now much more on racing."
That's still not a vehement denial of the car's potential arrival, is it?
Leupen says that Toyota finds "motorsport more interesting" but still won't rule out a road car. In fact, he sees its value. He says that "halo projects [...] are important to keep people motivated," but in the same breath, says that there are many internal projects "on which engineers are working, purely to see what is possible." This means that the whole idea of a road-legal hypercar is not off the cards, but is increasingly unlikely.
For now, Toyota just wants to focus on its so-called "energy transition," meaning more interest in green mobility than in something that shows the brand's performance prowess. The bottom line? Stop asking when Toyota will release a hypercar, but don't forget that it has the capability to do so.