We’ve known for some time that Toyota is developing a hypercar to race at Le Mans in 2021. It’s called the GR Super Sport, and it’ll run in the new top-tier LMH category. And here it is, doing a demo lap before last weekend’s COVID-delayed LM24 got underway.
Here’s what we know – the GR Super Sport is based on the TS050 prototype (which has won Le Mans outright three times) and, in line with the sport’s regulations, is being developed as both a road and race car.
LMH cars are limited to 680hp and must weigh no less than 1,030kg, while e-motors producing no more than 270hp may power the front-axle for four-wheel drive. Toyota’s GR Super Sport Concept had a twin-turbo V6 hybrid with 1,000hp, so there’s a very real possibility the road car could end up being more powerful than the racer.
Wearing familiar GR camo, former Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Alex Wurz did a lap in a open-top development car ahead of last weekend’s race (which Toyota won, obviously).
Toyota says the GR is “a hypercar with race car pedigree and performance”, and says it reflects its “commitment to use motorsport to make ever-better road cars for the enjoyment of customers, and symbolises the ever-closer relationship between Toyota Gazoo Racing race and road car products”.
The admittedly biased Wurz said he “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”.
ByKolles and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus are also preparing LMH cars for next year. Peugeot will join in 2022. Aston Martin had signed up to race the Valkyrie in the category, but pulled out earlier this year.
STORY Tom Harrison