Skip to main content

Toyota will use racing tech to build a road-going hypercar

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The automaker known for the Prius and the Camry is building a hypercar. Fresh off its victory at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota said it would adapt technology from its winning race cars for a road-going “super sports car.”

The car will be based on the GR Super Sport concept that debuted earlier this year, and features many components taken from the TS050 Hybrid race car that just won Le Mans. Like the TS050, the GR Super Sport concept featured a 2.4-liter V6 engine with electric assist. Toyota said the concept was good for 986 horsepower.

If it sticks close to the template laid out by the GR Super Sport, Toyota’s production hypercar will essentially do for endurance-racing technology what the Mercedes-AMG Project One is doing for Formula One tech: put it in the hands of people who don’t wear helmets and fire suits to work. Like the Mercedes, the Toyota will likely be very expensive and have a limited production run. But Toyota is keeping details under wraps for now.

Toyota has been trying for years to shake a reputation for building boring cars, and a racing-inspired hybrid hypercar would seem to put the matter to rest. Just as Mercedes is building the Project One in part to capitalize on its Formula One success, a hypercar will help memorialize Toyota’s Le Mans win. Toyota is only the second Japanese automaker to win the legendary French race (after Mazda in 1991), and its 2018 victory came after years of near misses. In 2016, its lead car broke down with just minutes to go.

While it will be designed as a road car, it’s possible the Toyota hypercar could also bring things full circle and hit the track. Beginning in 2020, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) — which includes Le Mans — will adopt new rules calling for race cars that more closely resemble hypercars like the GR Super Sport concept and Project One. Imagine those two mixing it up with Aston Martin Valkyries or Ferrari LaFerrari FXX Ks, and you’ve got a good idea of where this is going.

“We started this project because we believe that creating a super sports car that delivers the same appeal as the TS050 Hybrid greatly adds to Toyota’s involvement in the WEC,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota motor-sports arm Gazoo Racing. “And at some point in the future, customers will have a chance to get behind the wheel of this incredible machine and experience its astonishing power and driving performance.”

Given the astronomical cost of hypercars, it’s unlikely that most people will ever get that experience. But Toyota is planning a new Supra sports car for those of more modest means.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Tesla Model 3 vs. Hyundai Ioniq 6: Which electric sedan is best?
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6.

There are finally some more electric sedan options. For years, the Tesla Model 3 was really the only good electric sedan that comes at a reasonable price -- until, Hyundai recently launched the Ioniq 6. The Ioniq 6 certainly takes some cues from the larger Ioniq 5, but is smaller and sleeker, with a design seemingly inspired by the Porsche 911.

But the Tesla Model 3 is still clearly an excellent option for those looking for an electric car, and who don't want a larger crossover. Which is better? Here's a look.
The exterior design of the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 is quite different. If you've seen a Tesla car before, then you'll immediately recognize the Model 3 -- it looks largely like a slightly different version of every other Tesla (except the Cybertruck).

Read more
Scout Motors Electric SUV: rumored price, release date, design, and more
Scout SUV Teaser

There's another electric SUV on the way, and this one comes with a familiar name. Volkswagen is reviving the classic Scout name for a new electric SUV that's billed as being an "RUV," or a rugged utility vehicle. And, it could well prove itself as the best electric SUV in its price range, when it does finally come out.

The new EV isn't due out for quite some time, but there's already a fair bit that we know about it. Curious to learn more? Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Scout SUV.
There's very little we actually know about the Scout SUV so far, but we do know a little about the eventual design. A few teasers for the upcoming vehicle have been released, showing sketches of both the SUV and the accompanying pickup truck, along with what's presumably the front of the SUV -- though in a dark environment, with little detail.

Read more
Volkswagen ID.GTI concept is another icon reimagined as an EV
Front three quarter view of the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept.

Volkswagen reinvented one of its most iconic models with the ID.Buzz, a modern, all-electric homage to the classic Microbus. But that's not the only fan favorite vehicle currently in the automaker's catalog.

Debuting at the 2023 Munich Auto Show, the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept aims to do for the Golf GTI hot hatchback — VW's signature performance car — what the ID.Buzz did for the Microbus. VW claims a production version has already been given the green light, although it won't say when it will appear.

Read more