Few things underline New Zealand’s passion for the automobile more than the surprisingly high density of rare, jaw-dropping supercars and hypercars that reside here. And now it appears that Toyota’s next-generation homologation Gazoo Racing Super Sport is next on the list.
The Super Sport is merely a concept for the moment, but a production model is on the way. It will form the basis for the Japanese brand’s next weapon in the World Endurance Championship — the category set to step away from its current LMP1 formula in order to adopt a more production-relevant formula known as the ‘hypercar class’.
Toyota has been one of the quickest cabs off the rank in developing a concept, having debuted the Super Sport at 2018’s Tokyo Auto Salon. Much of its underpinnings and production philosophies are borrowed from Toyota’s TSO50 LMP1 hybrid WEC entry — and that extends to its powertrain.
Its 2.4-litre direct-injected V6 engine and its dual electric motors produce 735kW of power, enough to tie it with the upcoming Ferrari SF90 Stradale as the world’s most powerful hybrid. However, unlike the Stradale, the Super Sport comes laden with a thick layer of endurance racing–inspired aerodynamics.
Air that flows through the front vents is ejected down the sides of the car to increase high-speed stability. Air flowing over the top, meanwhile, is channeled either side of the central glasshouse then aimed at the (surprisingly dainty) rear wing.
It’s almost crazy to imagine one of these rolling down the street, legally, but it’s the homologation reality for all manufacturers wishing to enter the WEC hypercar class.
And, according to Toyota New Zealand CEO Neeraj Lala, at least one of them might see Kiwi streets. Speaking with motoring outlet Driven, Lala said that the brand is “working extremely hard to secure a vehicle for a special customer who has indicated a deep passion to own one.”
It’s unlikely to be the first vehicle of its kind to land in New Zealand. Circuit owner Tony Quinn has ordered the Super Sport’s British opposition; the Valkyrie. While Aston Martin has postponed its entry to the series, therefore potentially taking away the on-track rivalry between the two beasts, the duo are still undeniably similar.
Both feature race-inspired designs that favour function over form, and both are likely to be produced in highly exclusive numbers. The Valkyrie’s power unit is different, though. Under its rear hatch is a 6.5-litre V12 built by Cosworth, producing 846kW of power — significantly more than both the concept Toyota Gazoo Super Sport and the Mercedes-AMG Project One.
The latter, which follows the same hybrid ethos as the Toyota, has been spotted testing at Mercedes-Benz’s own proving ground and technology centre at Immendingen, Germany.