Toyota’s low-slung concept car brings Le Mans technology to the street

Toyota
In the middle of January, all eyes are on the annual Detroit Auto Show. In Japan, the big car-related event is called Tokyo Auto Salon. Toyota will be present at both events. We’ll see the next-generation Avalon in Detroit, and a brand-new concept named GR Super Sport in Tokyo.

The GR Super Sport draws inspiration from the TS050, the ultra-advanced prototype Toyota races in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). The dark teaser image released by the Japanese firm shows a low-slung coupe with pronounced front fenders, a wrap-around windshield that rests on rakish A-pillars, and a sloping roof line with a long fin. The back end wears a massive spoiler that stretches the entire width of the car, though it looks smaller than the one that provides the TS050 with downforce as it blasts down the Mulsanne Straight during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Toyota explains it built the GR Super Sport concept to demonstrate how technology born on the track seeps down into its production models. The initials GR stand for Gazoo Racing, the brand-new performance sub-brand the company launched a couple of months ago. Rumors claim the upcoming Supra — which might not resurrect the Supra name after all — will join the Gazoo Racing sub-brand when it finally makes its debut.

Mercedes-AMG showed one way to transfer technology from the track to the street with the Project One. Toyota could do the same with its next concept. Official technical details aren’t available yet, but Motor Authority speculates the GR Super Sport could use a toned-down version of the TS050’s gasoline-electric powertrain. It uses a twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter V6 engine and several electric motors to send up to 1,000 horsepower to all four wheels. A lithium-ion battery pack stores electricity.

Toyota will publish additional details about the GR Super Sport concept in the coming weeks. We’ll learn what the future holds for the model; it might be a simple design study but we’re hoping it will spawn a production model sooner or later. When the car makes its debut, we’ll also get more insight about the future of the company’s Le Mans effort and Toyota’s performance-oriented subdivision.

Cars

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Cars

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.
Cars

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.