A prototype of Toyota's GR Super Sport hypercar has made its first-ever public appearance.
With the GR Supra stealing all the spotlight, it's easy to forget that Toyota is using its Le Mans prototype racing experience to build a new racing-inspired hypercar for the road - remember when Toyota cars were ridiculed for being boring?
Previewed by the Gazoo Racing GR Super Sport Concept back in 2018, the production model will serve as Toyota's new halo car. It will be based on the race car Toyota is entering in the new Le Mans Hypercar Class next year, marking the start of an exciting new era for the famous endurance race. For the first time, Toyota presented a prototype version of the GR Super Sport to the public at the Circuit de la Sarthe just before the start of the 88th Le Mans 24 Hours race this weekend.
Driven by former Toyota Gazoo racing driver Alex Wurz, the GR Super Sport prototype, which is based on the two-time Le Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid race car, performed a demonstration lap before "participating in the ceremony to return the Le Mans trophy for this year's race."
Customized as a convertible, the prototype sported the familiar GR camouflage livery used for GR Supra prototypes, a prominent roof scoop, a large rear wing, and an aggressive low-mounted front splitter. Toyota describes the GR Super Sport as a "hypercar with race car pedigree and performance."
"It was an honor to drive this development version of the GR Super Sport for the first time in public, and especially at a circuit like Le Mans which is so closely connected to this car. The GR Super Sport was born at Le Mans so this felt like a homecoming," said Wurz.
"This was my first time to drive the car, so a demonstration lap doesn't allow me to push the limits but I could already feel that the GR Super Sport has the potential for incredible performance. I could feel the similarities between the GR Super Sport and the TS050 Hybrid in terms of performance, particularly the four-wheel drive and the hybrid system. But the engineers tell me this was only a small taste of the GR Super Sport's true performance so I am super excited to drive it again one day in the near future."
To comply with homologation regulations, Toyota will build at least 20 road-going versions of the GR Super Sport. Toyota hasn't revealed the technical specifications yet, but the road-going hypercar is expected to utilize a "competition" version of the concept's 986-hp, twin-turbo 2.4-liter V6 hybrid engine, enabling it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds and 0-124 mph in less than seven seconds.