This weekend just gone will go down in history as a memorable one for Toyota. Not only did it win the 24 Hours of Le Mans again (with a certain Kiwi doing the business on LM24 debut with the team), but it also gave its Gazoo Racing Super Sport hypercar a first public showing.
The firm’s hybrid prototype enjoyed some mileage on track prior to the race, in the hands of former Formula 1 driver Alexander Wurz. Dressed in the same camouflage that draped the Toyota GR Supra for so long, it shows some signs of evolution since it first debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon in 2018.
For one, it was missing a roof. The amount of helmet poking over the top of the windscreen perhaps indicates a tight cockpit. It also sported a more usable and production-ready ride height, more defined side skirts, and wing mirrors mounted on top of the front wings.
The Super Sport will be developed alongside a race-car equivalent, with plenty of technology carry-over between the two. It’s all to do with the World Endurance Championship’s shift away from LMP1 specifications and towards the new ‘Hypercar’ regulations — designed to make the race cars much more production-car based.
Toyota are yet to confirm powertrain details in full, although it’s thought that the Gazoo Racing Super Sport will utilise a 2.4-litre V6 hybrid engine. Toyota claimed that its 2018 concept produced 735kW of power from said engine, which — if it makes it to production like that — will make it the equal most powerful hybrid on the planet.
The WEC Hypercar regulations have been further fleshed out since Toyota unveiled its concept, with the series bringing in a 500kW power cap. It’s unclear whether this means the Gazoo Racing Super Sport will have its power output adjusted to suit in its production guise, or whether it will press on with more than 200kW extra.
It’s already been confirmed that Toyota New Zealand is pushing to bring a Gazoo Racing Super Sport to New Zealand for an interested buyer. So, the idea of seeing Toyota’s ‘race car for the road’ on local roads isn’t out of the question.