Toyota GR GT3 Concept breaks cover
Will this GR GT3 Concept spawn another GR Yaris-style road-going homologation?
Toyota has revealed its take on a future GT3 customer racing car in the form of the GR GT3 Concept. This vision ahead at Gazoo Racing’s next motorsport program is particularly intriguing for many reasons, but the advent of a potential road-going sports car that will need to be built in order to homologate the racer is certainly something to take note of.
This is the same procedure Gazoo Racing undertook in the design and development of the brilliant GR Yaris, but in this case the GR GT3 concept looks to share nothing with any existing Toyota (or Lexus) product, despite having two front-engined, rear-wheel drive coupes already in production.
Instead, the GR GT3 Concept features an extreme cab-rear silhouette with a long bonnet and short tail, not dissimilar to an AMG GT. The Concept’s actual bodywork is superbly resolved, with an extremely clean surfacing that is very distinctive from current Toyota design language.
The body side is dissected by a crisp split-line that runs alongside from the front arch to terminate at the door handle that also hides away the clamshell shutline, while the front-ends almost faceless aesthetic has a broad opening hiding the headlight elements, with cooling dealt with by a single central opening.
The rear end looks especially interesting, as underneath the huge rear wing also sits an aggressively integrated ducktail that borders the rear screen, itself subtly wrapping around the side of the car – similar in effect to an Alpine A110 or even the FD Mazda RX-7.
There are plenty of GT3-typical aero elements such as the tall rear wing and pressure-relief vents on the front wheel arches, so too a side-mounted exhaust outlet on the layered side sill that doesn’t look dissimilar to the one on an Aston Martin Vulcan.
What engine will power a prospective GT3 racer and its corresponding road car is anyone’s guess for now. Thanks to the relatively low power and torque caps on GT3 competition cars, it could be served by Toyota’s twin-turbocharged 3-litre V6 which is still underutilised within the global range, and rumours persist of a twin-turbo V8 being in development for a Lexus halo model which could also fit the bill.
Will this result in another new sports car for the Gazoo Racing range? Alongside the concept’s release, Toyota confirmed that the ‘commercialis[ation of] its motorsports cars, rather than simply adapting production vehicles for use in motorsports’ is now a key component of the business model, much like it did with the hugely successful GR Yaris and its corresponding WRC car.
Ruminations of Toyota introducing a fourth bespoke GR model to the range aren’t new, but they generally pointed towards a reboot of the iconic, and mid-engined, MR2. This larger front-engined, rear-wheel drive concept differs markedly from that, and given its quite distinct silhouette and larger dimensions is unlikely to replace the Supra or GR86 either. There’s exciting things happening within Toyota City, but who saw a possible front-mid engined supercar coming?