Toyota has been firing on all cylinders lately. In addition to its traditional self-charging hybrid models, the Japanese giant has launched rechargeable hybrid engines and even its first 100% battery-electric model. But Toyota does not forget the pleasure and returns to it with several GR models – Supra, GR86, GR Yaris or GR Corolla – for our greatest pleasure. The competition does not escape the appetite of the manufacturer who will test a thermal hydrogen engine in addition to its commitment to the World Endurance and Rally Championship, each time with hybrid cars. Here is Toyota offering its vision of a GT3 coupé, designed from scratch and designed to make motorsport more sustainable.
The GR GT3 Concept is not based on an existing model from Toyota’s sports line. It is a coupe with spectacular lines respecting the typical codes of front-engined sports GTs with proportions that would not deny a Mercedes-AMG GT3 or an Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Huge, horizontal bonnet, passenger compartment pushed back on the rear axle and short, low stern. The lines are simple – yes, if it’s still a Toyota – and the front doesn’t take any code from the models in the brand’s current range… and that’s okay. The horizontal and slender optics connected by a “blade” under an extremely thin “grille” overlook a gaping mouth and a generously sized splitter.
We don’t know what’s under the hood. A derivative of the BMW inline 6 from the Supra or the successful V8 from the Lexus RC F GT3? No matter. The impression of power is underlined by the side exhaust outlets, just behind the front wheels. At the rear, a huge spoiler that seems inherited from the Super GT models (Japanese equivalent of the German DTM) impresses and says a lot about the capabilities of the machine.
This GR GT3 Concept would be placed at the top level of the GR Supra GT4, which has been active for two years on all circuits in the world. Above all, with the enthronement of the GT3 as a GT category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by 2023, this model could delight the brand’s customers and aim for THE grand slam of world endurance: 24 hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Nürburgring and 24 Hours of Spa, without forgetting the 12 Hours of Bathurst and the 12 Hours of Sebring to complete this anthology of prestigious events.
If Toyota presents the GR GT3 Concept as a racing car dedicated to the driver above all, but with the brand’s desire to further accelerate customer-competition activities and make motorsport more sustainable. According to Toyota’s statement, « As in the case of the Yaris GR, by marketing motorsport cars rather than simply adapting production vehicles for motorsport use, TGR intends to use the feedback of information and technologies honed through participation in various motorsport activities to develop GT3 cars and production cars and promote the manufacture of ever-higher performance motorsport cars”.
We also know that SRO – Stéphane Ratel Organization – creator of the GT3 is considering the introduction in a few years of a new generation of hybrid GT3s. A dream playground for Toyota. But there is still no indication whether the GR GT3 Concept will go beyond the showcar stage.