Move over McLaren: Toyota’s GR Super Sport is heading for New Zealand
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The hard-core GR Yaris is the Gazoo Racing Toyota model Kiwis are most excited about right now.
Arriving at the end of this year, the pumped up Yaris will be unique among hot hatches in being closely related to an actual competition car - the Yaris WRC currently being campaigned in World Rallying.
The GR Yaris has little in common with the mainstream model: it’s powered by a 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo engine, six-speed manual gearbox and intelligent GR-Four AWD. It also comes wrapped in a unique three-door body shell to emphasise the connection with the WRC rocket.
Read More: All you need to know about the new GR Yaris
It’s an extreme model relative to the cooking Yaris. But just how hard-core can GR go? The answer is all the way…
Since at least 2018 GR has been working on the Super Sport, a roadgoing hypercar that borrows much of its technology from the Le Mans-winning (2018-19) TS050 hybrid racer.
That’s not just lip service. GR’s stated aim is to develop “sports cars from active race cars”. The Super Sport has a version of the World Endurance Championship racer’s 2.4-litre V6 lean-burn petrol engine with a racing version of the Toyota hybrid system (THS-R) that uses two electric motors.
The V6 and electric motors contribute equally to the total power output of 735kW – exactly the same as the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, which is currently the world’s most powerful production hybrid. We’re wondering whether GR might make it 736kW for good measure.
The finished car is yet to be revealed, but it’ll be very close to the concept pictured here, which was unveiled at the 2018 Tokyo Motor Show.
The production run is also yet to be confirmed, but it will be small. However, it seems like at least one GR Super Sport is heading for NZ.
Toyota NZ chief executive Neeraj Lala confirmed to DRIVEN that the brand is “working extremely hard to secure a vehicle for a special customer who has indicated a deep passion to own one.”
With its exemplary motorsport credentials, the GR Super Sport could make a case for itself as the most exciting and desirable hypercar in the world. The only supercar that can boast a similarly direct competition connection is Mercedes-AMG’s One (formerly “Project One”), which borrows its 1.6-litre hybrid powertrain (740kW system output) from the brand’s Formula One W07 racer.
Neither the GR Super Sport or Mercedes-AMG One have appeared in their final production form yet.
But the Toyota must be close: the car will go full circle by forming the base of another GR racer to meet new rules for the 2020/21 World Endurance Championship.