Toyota’s Hypercar Is Coming…

The Tokyo Auto Salon is fundamentally about aftermarket performance tuning and automotive styling culture, but it’s also an event where Japanese manufacturers like to tease us with special edition models. This year, however, Toyota took things to a whole new level with its Gazoo Racing (GR) brand, and that’s why I want to start my main TAS 2018 coverage with the GR Super Sport Concept.

If this concept car actually materializes into a limited run production machine, it will not only achieve a true first in the global automotive world –  that being a Japanese manufacturer stepping into the hypercar market – but emphasize that Japan is really back in game.

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I’ve gone on and on over the years at how Japan seems to have lost its mojo when it comes to creating fun and exciting cars, but Gazoo Racing’s Super Sport Concept is a loud and clear message that Toyota isn’t playing around.

It’s not just a design exercise either; behind the mock-up on display at the Makuhari Messe over the weekend was a running, prototype chassis. All of this follows the “racing improves the breed” statement that Toyota wants to ensure it follows through with from now on.

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So let’s take a look at a few details of the development car, starting with the 18×13-inch center-lock forged BBS wheels wrapped in 330/710R18 Bridgestone Potenza slicks. Carbon-ceramic Akebono brakes feature at all four corners.

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The Super Sport Concept takes heavy inspiration from the LMP1 TS050 Toyota has been campaigning in the WEC series, and the cockpit is very much in line with what you’d expect to find in a state-of-the-art race car. The tub and pretty much every main component of the chassis is constructed from carbon fiber.

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Most of the car’s nitty gritty details aren’t being given out, but I was told by one of the Gazoo Racing engineers present on the booth that the goal is to bring the tech and feel of a race car to the street. If that’s true, we can probably expect the design of the final car to not stray too far from what we see here.

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That said, a further look at the underpinnings makes you wonder how all of this can really be adapted into a reliable road car package. Essentially, it’s pure race car, starting off with the ancillaries that hang off the compact 2.4L V6 set low in the center of the chassis. I was drooling over the way the intercoolers, oil coolers and radiators are positioned along the sides to make full use of airflow collected from under the car. In the body mock-up there doesn’t seem to be anywhere for the hot air to escape, but it is possible that further ducting channels it out through the rear of the car.

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The turbos are beautifully laid out, fed by handmade headers which in turn plumb the external wastegates into the system.

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Some really accurate boost contol is obviously going on here, and let’s not forget there is also a hybrid electrical system that makes up part of the driveline. No information is being divulged on how it all works, but Toyota has said that it will generate almost 1,000hp combined.

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From the back you can see how the exhausts snake their way to the rear of the car, while on the body itself there is a chimney-type exhaust outlet hinting at where the Gazoo Racing engineers will try to direct it.

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The rear 4-way dampers control suspension movement through a hinged push-rod layout with the other end mounted directly onto the carbon fiber tub.

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It’s great to see Toyota attempting something like this, but at the same time you do have to wonder why it chose the Tokyo Auto Salon to unveil this project to the world.

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Wouldn’t the Detroit Auto Show that’s going on now be a better setting? Or maybe even Geneva in March?

Regardless, you just can’t help but pray that this concept will become a production reality.

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It is possible that the new-gen Supra will be the first new Toyota to bridge race and street tech for us enthusiasts, and there are rumors hinting that in Japan the car will be sold under the Gazoo Racing banner, or maybe that the GR brand will mark a special version of the Supra. What we can be happy about is that there is promise of exciting things happening within Toyota, hopefully pushing other Japanese manufacturers to take notice and follow suit.

It’s wishful thinking perhaps, but could the 2020s be a call back to the 1990s?

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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72 comments

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1

Those gold covered boost pipes look mean AF

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Been thinking of doing this in Project GTR but I think it ends up looking super cheesy on a street car.

3

I use this on my powerstroke, being highly sensitive to intake air temps and heat soak it made a real difference. two thumbs up.

4

Somehow the rear lights remind me of Daruma Celica. Is it accidental or an outright throwback?

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5

I'll second that actually! From the back on for sure.

6

I think you need to get your eyes checked.....

Author7
Dino Dalle Carbonare

lol

9

While a concept car is supposed to make one excited about the possibilities from a manufacturer, they most likely will have little to do with future production cars. I'd say this is Toyota's Mazda Furai.

That being said, I hope if Toyota makes an LMP1 inspired road car it looks more like this than the ugly FT-1.

10

looks better as a bare chassis, what a pig face

Author11
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well the TS050 race car they've been campaning isn't the prettiest

12

Its like one giant nose

13

Hydraulic wastegate control like P1 and F1, pretty awesome. I doubt that will make the street car though.

Author14
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I like it. Must be crazy accurate and you could use it for systmes like traction & stability.

15

Toyota can make cool stupid fast possibly street race cars, but they can't update their passenger cars to be more fun? The corolla is been as boring as ever, the Tundra still gets soddingly poor gas mileage and dated tech/chassis, there isn't a midsize rwd coupe, almost none of their cars come available with stick, and their quality has kinda dwindled a little if I'm honest. Toyota tbh is kinda riding on their reputation, in the states at least. They really need to get their stuff together, maybe provide some GR offerings stateside in addition to the bland cars they sell here.

16

Selling those boring cars enmasse is what gives them the money to be able to do stuff like this.

17

Has anyone else noticed that the styling concept doesn't really match up to the chassis?

The nose of the concept is round & pointy while the nose on the chassis is flat & wide.
The concept has vents ahead of the windhshield that look like they're meant for radiator flow-through. But on the chassis the radiators are clearly in the sidepods.
Finally the exhausts on the concept come out from the top, but on the chassis they come out the back.

I understand the styling concept is just that - a styling concept. But then what's the chassis for?

18

All good points.
I think the chassis is probably to show what is possible, as if to say "wouldn't it be cool if this was the underpinning of your street car"? Plus, it's easier to do a styling exercise and display an actual chassis along with it, rather than making a monocoque chassis for something that is currently only a styling exercise.

Author19
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah it's just a stylistic envisionment of what it could look like

20

Yeah its cool and all...but what about the supra? lol

21

Toyota still being the same old prickteases they have been for the last 20 years. Still making boring cars, sans the 86 while showing off awesome "what if we did this but we won't LOL fuck you" cars. Meanwhile Nissan and Honda have are meeting their motorsports fans needs. I expect nothing exciting from Toyota unless a major overhaul in executive management happens.

22

please tell me what Honda has done to meet motorsports fans needs... Their only attempt at motorsport in the last 10 years has been a total failure ( F1 engine for McLaren). And the new NSX doesnt count btw because it was completely designed engineered and built by Acura in California.

23

You completely missed his point.......

24

could it be the return of the MR2/MC8R

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25

Man MR2/MC8R is much better than this shitty concept. No doubt!

26

Interesting car I never heard about! Not a lot of info on it but neat none the less. Wheres that private collector for a Speedhunters spotlight post!

27

Hopefully on this site, if only Toyota had made more of them.

28
Randomguyontheinternet

"Toyota has said that it will generate almost 1,000hp combined"

I did not expect to read that sentence today.

29

Like you stated, I wish this would encourage other japanese manufacturers to step up their game *cough*nissan bring out new silvia/z models*cough*

Author30
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah right? It's like they don't care any more. Excuse being people don't want sports cars, but if you make the damn things people will buy and get back into them #idiots

31

I miss the days when aerodynamics were less well-understood and therefore, more dramatic.

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Author32
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm with you there! #liftfordays

33
My heart is with Toyota.

Toyota always poke out there chest when people doubt them.

Author34
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Let's hope it happens. Sure does take them a while though? How long have they been at it with the Supra?!!

35

Project ONE what?

36

Return of the GT ONE road version.

37

More like a PROJECT NONE

38

or project, here BMW have some money and let us put a toyota badge on it...

39

The one thing I hope they do styling-wise is remove the physical badge in the front and paint it on instead. This will allow the "nose" shape to resolve, instead of being stunted for that badge. On top of looking better (IMO), it will give off that weight-reduction-at-all-costs vibe that a car as serious as this should rightfully display.

40

This even failed as a concept. 1000up out of a 2.4? I don't see this engine lasting very long. As well as the carbon fibre coilover mounts, centre lock wheels, the cockpit is also very mundane. Too much race car in a car that is supposed to be reliable on the road

41

You realize they’ve been testing the engine in ENDURANCE racing for a long time right? I think it might last

42

It's a hybrid. Part of that figure is made up of the electrical driveline.

43

Thats why its a concept

44

Fail again, toyota.

Supercharge/turbo the 86.
Bring back the supra
Make the corolla s a viable option to the si
Make the new camry look less like a alien lexus thing
Silly japs, trucks are made by americans
Styling on the minivan? See the point about the camry

Japan needs to go back to doing what it did best.
-subtle styling
-balance over power
-reliability
-value

Until then, this is just another cool design to sell off to hotwheels and need for speed: hot pursuit 19

45

Love the hotwheels phrase..haha

46

Silly american, japanese sports cars are for the japanese. Why should they sell performance cars in the US when the majority of performance car buyers in the US want v8's?

48

As cool as this is, Toyota need to stop showing the world concepts and put something out already. For Christ sake the GT-R has been around for what 10+ years now? The Mk IV debuted over 25 years ago? Yea the FRS is an awesome replacement for the AE86 but people are dying for a true successor to the Supra, something tangible and accessible to the average enthusiast not "Shmee" or one of these other YouTube millionaire enthusiasts adding another item to their repeertoire. We want an over engineered dog that will stand the test of time and pay proper homage to a Legend that is still considered one the best tuner platforms today. Not because of the F&F fan boy franchise, but rather because it represents a car that continues outlast time. Toyota need to do the Supra what Nissan did to the GTR, and they need too do it sooner than later, because their brand represented a lot to us in the 80s and 90s but it's become just another mid price market sedan bread and butter manufacturer. I respect Toyota's recent ambitions and near successes in Le Mans, I get that the breed benefits, but please, please, please make a car we can buy already, with a three pedal option, at least six cylinders, two turbos and gear box that can withstand the apocalypse if need be.

49

isn't it weird that in 50 years no one is going to give a shit about the F&F franchise?

50

One question: will there be a manual transmission?

51

When was the last time you saw a modern race car with a manual?

Author52
Dino Dalle Carbonare

CVT lol - it is a Toyota hybrid after all

53

It's all still talk to me. As much as I'd want to get excited. I won't.

I feel there is still a damn good chance this could be forgotten and practically nothing coming from it.
...
Where the Supra at???

Author54
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm wondering the same thing. Maybe we'll see it this year. Maybe! If you are all good boys

55

hahaha *laughs in heartbreak*

56

This thing looks very cool in person. The rear struck me as a little unfinished but it's just a concept. Hopefully it finds its way down the production chain.

By the way, your car looked great, really good in person, and I now have a Speedhunters t-shirt!

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Author57
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thank you Chris! Appreciate the support man

58
Dieter Verscheure

Those exhaust pipe seem a bit small imo. Looks more like a leman prototype to me.

59

Looks good and sounds like a winner, just need to see it in action against the other big names.

60

As much as i love this concept, it makes me think why it's taking forever to come up with the Supra. Nissan only needed 5 years to come up with the R35, Honda even came up with the new NSX already. But we as Japanese enthusiasts are still waiting for Toyota.

61

Good luck to Toyota this year at the 24 Hours at Le Mans. They have had such bad luck in recent attempts. Toyota has a chance to do well as they are the only entry in their class, the top class. Well they say persistence pays off. But I wonder if Toyota wants to win this way, without much competition. A backdoor win. We'll see in June.

62

Kind of needed a NSFW warning before seeing your shots of the plumbing there because that’s pure porn!
Very sexy car, especially like the styling of the vents inside the front wheels. I bet the smokestack out the top is an exhaust for the hybrid system.

63

The rear end makes me think ford and I don’t know why. It’s very untoyota

64

I love the Zip ties.. that’s how you know it’s a real racecar.

65

I really don't dig the "Toyota's Hypercar Is Coming" title. You don't know that it's coming, and most likely it isn't. That's some clickbaity B.S. man.

Author66
Dino Dalle Carbonare

That's now what they are saying.

67

A Toyota supercar? Can't wait to see it in 10 years!

Author68
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's a complex project, make it 15. The LFA took 10 and that was easy, they just had to build machines to autonomously weave carbon lol

69
William Colinger

Anyone else thinking this would look insane with the GT-One livery they used in 1998-1999?

70

You didn't hear it from me, but I recently spoke with an insider that says we should keep our ears to the ground for Geneva. I hope he is right, it has been too much teasing with their Supra.

71

I feel like I'm missing a lot of vital information when all I see is the word 'Gazoo'. Is this one of those words that outside of it's native tongue it sounds downright silly but has some kind of normative meaning within? Is this of Banjo and Gazoo fame? Was there inspiration of the Gazoodles canned pasta? Is there some kind of cult following abroad of Gazoo Kids on The Block?

72

Beautiful engine piping but what's with the cheap blue zip-ties?

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