Make / Model Search

Future models - Toyota - Lemans Hybrid Concept

Toyota Le Mans concept unveiled

Prius-based show car pays tribute to the world’s most famous endurance race

7 Jun 2023

TOYOTA Gazoo Racing has this week unveiled a radical Prius-based concept car to celebrate what it says is the “significant contribution of motorsport in developing technologies for hybrid road cars”.


The Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition concept car, to use its full name, highlights the latest in hybrid technology used in Toyota vehicles and forms the centrepiece of a tribute to the world’s most famous race – a race in which Toyota competed with its first hybrid-electric race car in 2012.


Toyota is aiming to extend its five-year winning streak at the Le Mans 24 Hour this coming weekend (June 11-12). It will enter two GR010 Hybrid race cars in the centennial edition of the famed enduro, which has been regarded as a showcase for the latest automotive technologies since the first race was held in 1923.


In a statement, Toyota said that competing in motorsport had enable its engineers to develop “ever-better hybrid-electric system technologies for its road-going production vehicles”.


It noted advances such as improved cooling systems, miniaturised inverter technology, and the developments of silicone carbide and high-voltage semiconductors as just some of the lessons taken from its motorsport campaigns.


The concept model is 90mm longer (4690mm), 50mm wider (1830mm) and 30mm lower (1400mm) than the road-going derivative, and rides on a 40mm wider track front and rear (1600mm and 1610mm respectively). The wheelbase is listed at 2750mm and ground clearance 120mm.


Toyota says the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition concept car is inspired by its race-ready GR010 Hybrid Le Mans cars and is characterised by multi-headlights and a lightweight carbon-fibre bonnet, as well as “exclusive performance features designed to improve traction and aerodynamics”.


These include side skirts, canards, a large rear wing, rear diffuser, and wide-track suspension with 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/50 profile rubber.


Toyota did not mention performance upgrades of any kind, leading us to assume the concept model remains powered by the 164kW 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid unit found under the bonnet of the fifth-generation Prius.


That model, which will not be offered in Australia, offers a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds and an improved all-electric driving range of some 50 per cent over the outgoing fourth-gen Prius. The latest Prius rides on Toyota’s second generation TNGA architecture and features its fifth-generation hybrid driveline, as found in the Corolla hatch and sedan range and Corolla Cross SUV.


Dynamic ability is also said to be improved, Toyota claiming additional reinforcement throughout the body for improved rigidity and reduced noise while redesigned suspension with MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones at the back promise to improve cornering and straight-line performance.


So far, total worldwide Prius sales have exceeded five million, which Toyota says accounts for a reduction equivalent to at least 82 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.


Toyota says the development team went back to the drawing board for the new Prius, starting from scratch to design a model that “needs to remain popular for the next 25 years”.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Toyota models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here