Toyota confirms this 986-hp supercar is heading for production

June 20 2018, Autonet (Frédéric Mercier)- Driving (Nicholas Maronese)- Sprint Marketing

Toyota confirms this 986-hp supercar is heading for production

Gazoo Racing partnership points to more future sports car offerings, including new more-hardcore Supra

Toyota this weekend confirmed its new 986-horsepower Gazoo Racing (GR) Super Sport Concept is already in development to enter production, and in fact is just the first of several sports cars the automaker hopes to team up with the racing firm on launching in the future.

The GT1 road car-type supercar is powered by what’s essentially the same 2.4-litre twin-turbo hybrid V6 powering Toyota’s TS050 Le Mans race car, which explains why Toyota brought it out to, and made the announcement ahead of, the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past weekend.

(It went on to end up winning the famed endurance race the next day.)

The company’s return to the niche market was spurred by rules changes in FIA racing that go into effect in 2020; in the ’90s, when Toyota built the road-legal GT-One, it was similarly because Le Mans GT1-class homologation rules stipulated each competitor’s vehicle had to be available in street trim to the public, at least in a limited production run.

Toyota’s partnership with Gazoo Racing doesn’t end at the GR Super Sport, however; instead it may be just the first of several sports car the companies will work on together.

Even though it’s yet to be unveiled, the upcoming Toyota Supra will already see its debut followed by that of a GR-spec super-hardcore trim, Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada told Motoring Research. Perhaps even more outrageously, he noted the company is also working on a sort of AI-rival app for customers who take their Supra out on the track.

“Spearheaded by the Supra, we’ve been working with app developers to use driving data and artificial intelligence in simulations,” he told the magazine. “You could be driving your Supra on-track, but racing against a virtual Fernando Alonso in real-time.”

There’s no timeline on the release of either of those cars, but we do know the production-spec Supra will debut for 2019, and that it would make sense for the GR Super Sport to launch not long after the FIA rules changes take effect in 2020.