Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin have recently shown off ultra high-strung Formula 1-style roadgoing supercars. They’re fine. But Toyota’s Gazoo Racing just debuted the GR Super Sport Concept, and it’s better. Instead of being F1-inspired, Gazoo’s “road car concept model” is based off its 24 Hours of Le Mans program. And Le Mans is better than F1.

Toyota won’t go so far as to say that the GR Super Sport Concept is a Toyota TS050 LMP1 prototype made street legal. It’s a little more distant than that. “Mostly the same main parts as the TS050 Hybrid race car” is how the company puts it in its English-language press release for the car, unveiled today at the Tokyo Auto Salon.

I could quote that press release in full, but it’s more fun to quote the Japanese version:

The “GR Super Sports Concept” released this time is exactly the concept car which is composed of almost the same main parts as the racing machine “TS050 HYBRID” who is participating in WEC. In this flowing and innovative form, the V6 twin turbo charger and Toyota hybrid system · racing (THS - R) are installed, which was trained in actual battle. This power unit aims at the next-generation super sports car that combines the ultimate power and environmental performance by combining a highly efficient EV system and a lean burn engine.

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Yes, yes. I want a V6 trained in actual battle. I need that.

The Toyota TS050, regularly the fastest car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (though often also the unluckiest), used a twin-turbo hybrid 2.4-liter V6 drivetrain to make about 1,000 horsepower. The specs for the GR Super Sport Concept sound rather familiar:

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  • 2.4-liter V6
  • Hybrid assist
  • 1,000 horsepower

The wheels are 18s, but they’re also 13 inches wide to fit 330-section tires all around. Grip is on another level.

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Gazoo showed off the bare chassis of the concept and you can see how close it is to what endurance race car drivers snuggle into to run tracks like La Sarthe.

Also there’s lots of gold.

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Most importantly, it has the most desirable feature in modern automotive design. Of course, I’m talking about roof-exit exhausts.

Amazingly, Toyota’s Gazoo racing team does send off a number of limited-run production cars for public consumption. Usually there are between 100 and 200 Gazoo vehicles sold every year. Last year the world got 100 tuned GT86s, the year before that 100 tuned Toyota Mark Xs, 200 turbo Vitzes before that and 100 sueprcharged ones a year before that. This year Gazoo has branded Nürburgring-tuned Yaris hot hatchbacks.

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But really, we need this for the roof-mounted exhausts. The Porsche 918 has them, this car has them, and Toyota absolutely needs to build some of these things. If only to kick Mercedes and Aston and any other F1-inspired car into the trash.