Developing a road-legal version of an electrified race car is not a walk in the park – just ask Mercedes-AMG about the difficulties it’s having with getting the One ready to hit the streets. The concept debuted in September 2017 and won’t be ready for production until 2022 at the earliest. It’s a similar story at Toyota as its GR Super Sport concept from January 2018 won’t morph into a street car anytime soon.
A report from August had stated about the possible demise of the road-legal car, with Racer magazine citing undisclosed Japanese sources about a prototype being engulfed in flames after crashing during a test conducted at Fuji Speedway. Because of the fiery incident, Toyota apparently axed the GR Super Sport road car while retaining the race car version. The Drive got in touch with the company to confirm or deny the report, but the answer provided by Toyota Motorsports Communications representative Sam Mahoney was rather vague:
“The GR Super Sport remains a concept at this time while Toyota studies the potential commercialization of this car.”
What can we learn from this statement? It looks as though the hypercar for public roads has not been canceled. However, it hasn’t been approved for production either, so its existence hangs in the balance. The fact Le Mans Hypercar rules don’t actually mandate a road car decreases the chances of production, especially since Peugeot has already ruled out a street version of the 9X8.
As a refresher, Toyota Australia’s spokesman Orlando Rodriguez admitted back in August 2018 a potential production version would be at the level of hypercars in terms of performance and asking price. Earlier this year in March, the Japanese automaker set up an online questionnaire for potential GR Super Sport buyers, asking them (among others) about whether they own a 2000GT or a Lexus LFA. It’s still up and running by the way, which could be a sign Toyota hasn’t given up on the ambitious project.
The most recent report regarding the hypercar’s technical specifications speculates it could have over 1,000 horsepower from a hybrid setup revolved around a V6 engine. We’re keeping our fingers crossed it’s still happening instead of being another GT-One of which just two were made in the late 1990s and never sold to the public.