Around the same time as Toyota was on its way to winning the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, the automaker posted video of its coming Le Mans racer on track. Toyota announced the GR Super Sports concept at Le Mans last year, and just announced that it would campaign the race version of that car in the so-called Hypercar class created for the 2020/2021 World Endurance Championship. The show car in the video is our most updated look at what, in road-going trim, could be an all-wheel-drive hybrid with 986-horsepower or more.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda shared wheel time with factory driver Kamui Kobayashi, both men running the prototype between the kerbing at Japan's Fuji Speedway. The exhaust soundtrack has been replaced by a rock soundtrack, so we have no idea yet what the coming treat will sound like. It appears there are two prototypes, one with a roof scoop, one without. Based on the rendered race car Toyota put out with the WEC announcement, our guess is that the race car gets the roof scoop.
WEC rules for the hypercar class limit each entrant to 750 horsepower and a maximum weight of 2,425 pounds (1,100 kg). The cars are allowed to use hybrid power, but the hybrid component can't provide more than 270 hp.
That's certain to make the road car more powerful than the endurance racer. It's thought the THS-R powertrain (Toyota Hybrid System - Racing) from the current TS050 Hybrid race car will move straight into the GR Super Sport, meaning a twin-turbo 2.4-liter V6 with 493 hp and two electric motors that contribute a combined 493 hp. Freed from racing rules, and with high-dollar, high-horsepower competition from the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG One, there's reason to believe Toyota would push horsepower matters past the four-figure mark.
As per the WEC regulations, competitors in the new class need to produce a minimum of 20 road cars based on their race cars within two years of the start of competition. That puts the GR Super Sport on the road by summer 2022. Start saving.