Could this be the rumored Toyota Prius GRMN?
Toyota Gazoo Racing has announced several activities for this year's edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the reveal of "a concept car equipped with vehicle technologies that have been developed through numerous challenges in motorsports participation."
Besides the few words quoted above, Toyota provided no information, but we do have a teaser image showing the lower half of the new concept car's front end. Based on the shape of the intake above the license plate holder and the sculpting of the bumper itself, we think this could be the rumored Toyota Prius GRMN. Whatever it is, this concept must be something destined for the road if Toyota has fitted a plate holder.
The image also shows a quartet of LED lights on each lower corner, a large central radiator dam, and a couple of canards above the aforementioned lights. As cool as these elements are, they do not fit with the on-again-off-again GR010-inspired production hypercar. They also don't seem to be a good fit for the Toyota GR GT3 Concept, which is expected to spawn a new roadgoing Lexus sports car.
Regardless, this should be an exciting proposition if it's got motorsport genes. That said, we haven't heard of Toyota using the Prius in motorsport; could the Prius GRMN use hybrid technology developed at Le Mans, or is Toyota referring to an engine running on hydrogen? A GR Corolla with just such a powertrain has been campaigned by the automaker, and that car will also be present at Le Mans.
Toyota has also suggested the idea of synthetic fuels, but our gut feeling is that we're going to see a racy Toyota Prius with an advanced hybrid system, better suspension, and perhaps an LSD.
Whatever it is, the new concept will be unveiled at the Circuit de la Sarthe over June 10-11. The automaker will also host a themed exhibition with the Japan National Tourism Organization and Mazda, the first Japanese auto manufacturer to win Le Mans in 1991. With that in mind, we would be remiss if we did not note that Mazda and Toyota are rumored to be working on new electric sports cars together.
The new Prius looks awesome, and a coupe version with proper handling chops and fizzy performance would be tantalizing. We'll let you know if Toyota is of the same mind in a couple of weeks.
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