THE ROAD AHEAD
TOYOTA GR HV SPORTS CONCEPT IS A TARGA-TOP HYBRID GT86
At the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota will unveil its GR HV SPORTS concept car which the auto giant claims will represent a new way to enjoy motoring by integrating the thrill of piloting a sports car with the environmental friendliness of an eco-car.
The 2017 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid Race Car
The “GR” is a reference to Toyota’s new sub-brand. Just as the GR HV Sports is a nod to the Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid race car, the “GR” is a reference to Gazoo Racing that has not only World Endurance Championship but World Rally Championship and Nurburgring endurance race teams.
The concept car features a targa top that was also used in Toyota’s most famous convertible sports car, the Toyota Sports 800 (aka Yotahachi) and the much loved Toyota Supra. The compact sports car concept measures 4395mm in length, 1805mm in width and stands just 1280mm tall. Toyota opted for a targa top with the aim of delighting drivers with the performance of the GR HV, whilst experiencing a sense of freedom that only comes with open-top motoring.
Much like the GT86, it gets a front engine, rear-wheel drive setup with the battery for the hybrid system mounted near the center of the car, which not only lowers its center of gravity but increases overall driving enjoyment by making the car more balanced. The engine is powered by THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System-Racing) that is infused with hybrid technology refined by the TS050 Hybrid. Toyota has yet to release any performance figures for the GR HV Sports.
The concept sports cars’ LED headlights, aluminium wheels and rear diffuser are similar to those seen on the Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid, with the design immediately evoking images of Toyota's association with motor sports. It’s finished in a matte black body color which no doubt expresses power and aggressiveness.
The interior – where the resemblance to the Toyota GT86 is clearest – has a selection of push-buttons to control the automatic transmission, but there’s also a pseudo stick shift that allows you to row through six manual-style gears in a traditional H-pattern, while its push button ignition switch is playfully located on the shift knob.
The car will be unveiled later in October at the Tokyo Motor Show. There is talk of it making it to production by 2020, however there has yet to be any confirmation from Toyota about this.