Update: At the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota announced that the company is now developing the GR Super Sport Concept as a road car, effectively bringing Le Mans tech to the streets, a first since the GT1 era. What a time to be alive. Our original story on the concept, published 1/12/18, appears below.
Last year, Toyota boss Akio Toyoda said that as the auto industry approaches times of tremendous change he is "strongly determined to make sure that cars will be fun for the next 100 years." One small step towards that honorable goal would be Toyota turning its World Endurance Championship TS050 race car into a road-going halo machine. And that's where comes in.
Presented at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota's road-going LMP1 concept packs a combined output of 1000 horsepower. That's thanks to a twin-turbo direct-injection 2.4-liter V6 and the race-spec electric motors of Toyota's hybrid system. If this setup sounds familiar, that's because TS050 has the very same drivetrain. This is the real deal. The rest of the car is "composed of mostly the same main parts" as well, as Toyota admits.
This lean-engined concept runs on 18-inch tires wrapped in 330-section rubber, and if you take a good look at its aero package, it looks like it could take the fight to the the and .
While staying in WEC for 2018-2019, Toyota will continue to accelerate its electrification program in order to stay competitive in the following decade. At CES, the company presented the e-Palette Concept, which is basically an automated living room. The product resulting from the GR Super Sport Concept experiment would be the opposite of that, and Toyota believes that the possibility of offering "polar opposite models" will mean that we should never get bored with its products.
We know which pole we would explore.