Rule changes in the World Endurance Championship have birthed an all-new racecar from Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division which will form the basis of the marque’s fastest road car ever.
Toyota’s 2021 GR010 has emerged, and the new racer will follow in the footsteps of the dominant TS50 hybrid LMP1 racer which won the Le Mans 24 Hour race three years running.
As an added bonus, the updated regulations require the race cars to be based on a road-going vehicle, of which at least 20 must be produced.
Similar rules spawned some of the most incredible cult-classic hypercars ever seen including the Porsche 911 GT1 and Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.
There are more benefits to homologation cars than just following a trend, says Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata who noted “what (Toyota) learns on the WEC racetracks will directly benefit our customers”.
Toyota has applied its passenger car hybrid nous to the new GR010 racecar, but with a whole new level of speed involved. The race car will team a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 capable of producing 500kW of power, with a Aisin/Denso sourced 200kW electric motor powering the front wheels.
In the previous TS050 LMP1 racecar, Toyota was able to screw 735kW combined outputs from a smaller 2.4-litre turbocharged V6 and electric motor, though the new rules limit total power to 500kW.
With the electric motor and combustion engine running at full bore the new GR010 would eclipse that power limit, but Toyota says electronics will muzzle the V6’s outputs, instead favouring instant electric punch from the power unit.
For the GR010 the electric motor is also only permitted to work on the front axle, unlike the TS050, and the only adjustable aerodynamic component will be the rear wing.
To better suit the needs of a limited production road car the GR010 will be 250mm longer, 100mm wider and 100mm taller, corresponding to a weight gain of around 162kg.
Gazoo Racing expects the new GR010 to be around ten seconds slower than the TS050 over a single lap at Le Mans.
Not hamstrung by racing regulations, the forthcoming road-going GR Super Sport will be powered by a development of the TS050’s smaller 2.4-litre V6 hybrid powertrain with 735kW.
While the silhouettes show a resemblance, the details of the road-going GR Super Sport differ greatly from the racer.
More elegant lighting solutions and a restrained aero package soften the Super Sport’s appearance compared to the GR010. The road car will also be offered as a coupe or open top when it goes on sale.
Toyota’s new GR010 racecar will first appear at the 9 Hours of Sebring in March and will be one to watch at the hallowed 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
It also leaves us excited for the launch of the road-going GR Super Sport, though the date for that is still unconfirmed.
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