Is Toyota still planning to produce the GR Super Sport, the roadgoing version of its GR010 Le Mans Hypercar? Nobody really knows.
There’s no question Toyota was gunning for a production run; the official Toyota Gazoo Racing website talks about the company’s objective to build “a sports car from a race car,” ending with a disclaimer that a release date has not yet been determined, and reservations are not being taken now. Toyota paraded the car around the Circuit de la Sarthe ahead of the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans; it sent out a questionnaire to prospective owners in March, the same way manufacturers like Ferrari do, to determine that examples go to buyers who truly are connoisseurs.
But then came mysterious and hard-to-verify reports of a crash in August at Fuji Speedway. Supposedly a preproduction GR Super Sport met a fiery end, causing Toyota to reconsider the project. This was reported by a “Japanese media outlet” according to Racer, though the source’s identity is unknown, and I personally wasn’t able to track it down in my research. I reached out to Toyota Europe and never heard back.
Our friends at The Drive, however, were more lucky. When asked about the car’s status, Toyota Motorsports representative Sam Mahoney told the site only that “the GR Super Sport remains a concept at this time while Toyota studies the potential commercialization of this car.”
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The wording there — potential commercialization — reads to me as very distant from the “gung-ho, we’re doing this, this is happening” attitude that Toyota had earlier in the vehicle’s development. That gives me a sneaking suspicion that the car may have indeed been shelved, or is perhaps on life support after all.
Is that because of the rumored incident at Fuji? Who knows. Once upon a time, the prospective Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) ruleset, on which the GR010 is based, mandated production versions of these prototypes for homologation purposes. That requirement evaporated at some point as the category was taking shape. Peugeot was able to dodge it for its upcoming 9X8 LMH, saying that “there are bridges between Peugeot Sport Engineered and the Peugeot endurance program,” and thus production and sale of a full car would not be necessary to gain entry into the class.
In March, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus owner Jim Glickenhaus said on Facebook that his company was forging ahead with building street-legal versions of its SCG 007 that ran at Le Mans for the first time last month. SCG would be the only LMH entrant interested in making road cars right now, if Toyota has indeed given up. Who knows — maybe Ferrari will come through?