By Steve & Tamami Laser
Streets of the future may be filled with self-driving delivery vehicles like the innovative e-Palette concept that Toyota introduced at CES 2018 this week. Yet the next-generation Toyota sports car is likely to have a steering wheel. And it might look something like the incredible GR Super Sport hybrid concept unveiled today at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon.
Developed by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the new concept is said to reveal the direction for Toyota’s next-generation sports car.
See the new GR Super Sport concept make its global debut at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon. Shigeki Tomoyama, Gazoo Racing president, leads the press conference and also discusses the company’s racing activities. (video: Toyota)
“Rather than developing production cars into sports cars, we aim to work out how to incorporate the know-how developed through races and rallies into production cars,” says Tomoyama. “If the e-Palette concept is the next generation of the horse-drawn carriage, the GR Super Sport concept would be the polar opposite as the next-generation racehorse.”
Tomoyama adds that e-Palette and GR Super Sport are both electrified and equipped with the latest IT technology despite the differences between the two concepts.
GR Super Sport features a 2.4-liter twin-turbo direct-injection lean-burn V6 with the Toyota Hybrid System – Racing (THS-R). Combined output for the gas engine and electric motors is quoted at 735kW or 1,000ps.
“People want to travel freely, travel to distant places, and to get there quicker than everyone else in attractive vehicles,” he says. “The feelings that one has for a car that can do all this are rich and heart-pounding.”
If Toyota decided to build a street-legal exotic sports car like the GR Super Sport, it would likely become the most coveted – and expensive – car the automaker has ever offered. Instead, it’s more likely that Toyota’s sports car of the future will be a hybrid, or perhaps a full EV, to challenge upcoming entries from Tesla, Porsche and others, and be priced like a Toyota (or a Lexus).
In the meantime, Toyota continues to apply its knowledge from racing into production vehicles. In Japan, the automaker says that orders for the Vitz GRMN, a GR sports series, are ready to start this April. The limited-edition model was tested at the Nürburgring and features a supercharged 1.8-liter engine, limited-slip differential, BBS forged alloy wheels, special sports seats, Sachs dampers and a small-diameter steering wheel.
The annual Tokyo Auto Salon is Japan’s largest custom car show where there’s something for everyone including performance cars, trucks, vans and racing machines. In addition to exhibits from the major automakers, a wide array of custom car shops, aftermarket parts manufacturers and related companies present their latest creations and products.
Visit the Tokyo Auto Salon website for more information on the show.
News source, photos and video courtesy Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Gazoo Racing Co.
Story © 2018 CarNichiWa.com