This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans was all about Toyota. Again. For the third year in a row, the Japanese brand took the checkered flag at the famed French endurance race. But Toyota didn't simply make news for winning the race. In fact, the company made sure to steal the spotlight just before the green flag fell by publicly showing off a prototype mule of its forthcoming hypercar, the GR Super Sport.
This was no static display, either, as the low-slung camouflaged car made its way around Circuit de la Sarthe. Predictably, the GR Super Sport appears to crib many of its design cues from the Le Mans-winning TS050. Bulging front and rear fenders, a pointed schnoz with space for a proper Toyota badge, a wide front splitter, and a large rear wing all give the gasoline-electric hybrid hypercar an unmistakably racy look.
Toyota notes the GR Super Sport mule displayed at Le Mans is "[customized] as a convertible," leading us to believe the production model will sport a formal roof (as previewed by the GR Super Sport concept). If the driving position of Alex Wurz, who piloted the car around Le Mans, is anything to go by, then the cabin's headroom is sure to be limited. The more than six-foot-tall Austrian driver's helmet noticeably crested the top of the Super Sport's windshield header.
From the Editors of Super Street: This must be the month for prototypes! Our brows are still a little raised over this one, especially that snug cockpit, but we're reserving judgment until a production version emerges. We're sincerely hoping Toyota engineers are aiming for Lexus LFA levels of awesome for this car - updated for the 2020s, of course.
While Toyota's kept key details about the forthcoming hypercar's powertrain under wraps, the company is anticipated to put a variant of the nearly 1,000-hp TS050 racer's powertrain (a twin-turbo 2.4-liter V-6 and an electric motor at each axle) under the GR Super Sport's slinky bodywork. We expect the production GR Super Sport to debut before next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, with sales and deliveries expected to begin not long thereafter. Whether the road-going race car officially sells in the United States, however, remains to be seen.