Toyota has revealed its direction for next-generation sportscars with the global debut of the GR Super Sport Concept and test car at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon this week. Developed by Toyota GAZOO Racing, the GR Super Sport Concept incorporates hybrid technology developed for Toyota’s TS050 Hybrid race car that competes in the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The newly revealed concept is composed of mostly the same main parts as the TS050 Hybrid, reflecting Toyota GAZOO Racing’s aim to ensure that technologies and know-how acquired in motorsport are fed back into new production vehicles.

Within the bodywork is a Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R) powertrain with a 1,000-ps 2.4-litre twin-turbo V6 engine and electric motor. The high-efficiency electric-vehicle system and lean-burn engine enable this next-generation super sportscar to deliver very high performance while also being considerate to the environment.

The powertrain for the concept sportscar is developed from the Toyota TS050 Hybrid racing car used in the WEC.

GAZOO Racing Company President Shigeki Tomoyama said the concept is the starting point for Toyota’s plan to develop sports cars from active race cars. “Rather than developing production cars into sportscars, we aim to work out how to incorporate the know-how developed through races and rallies into production cars,” he said.

“Although it will be some time before you all have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, I hope that the GR Super Sport Concept will give you an idea of what we aim to achieve with our next-generation sportscars.”

Toyota’s continued participation in the WEC is seen as a highly beneficial and necessary project in terms of developing cutting-edge hybrid systems and EV systems.

Fuel economy-enhancing technologies and other developments gained through such tough technological competitions are already being fed back into production vehicles.

Mr. Tomoyama compare the GR Super Sport Concept with Toyota’s e-Palette Concept, a new shared mobility model for communities, unveiled at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “If the e-Palette Concept is the next generation of the horse-drawn carriage, the GR Super Sport Concept would be the polar opposite as the next-generation racehorse. Its appeal is more personal, like that of a much-loved horse to its owner.”

“Despite the differences between the two concept models, both are electrified vehicles equipped with the latest IT technologies and are set to become safe and environmentally friendly connected cars,” he added.

“It is an unchanging fact that people want to travel freely, access distant places, and to get there quicker than everyone else in attractive vehicles. The feelings that one has for a car that can do all this are rich and heart-pounding,” Mr. Tomoyama said while making reference to Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda’s strong determination to make sure that cars will be fun for the next 100 years.

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[Chips Yap]

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