Toyota Le Mans Racer Could Inspire Hybrid Sports Car

Toyota Le Mans Racer Could Inspire Hybrid Sports Car

Is Toyota planning a new hybrid sports car? According to the man in charge of the automaker’s hybrid racing plans, it would seem so.

“My ultimate goal for the near future is to develop a hybrid sports car using technology accumulated through this project,” said Hisitake Murata, speaking in a video interview posted on the Toyota UK blog. Murata is the General Manager of the Racing Hybrid Project and the man responsible for the Toyota’s Le Mans prototype race cars.

“Our technologies are shared with the whole of Toyota Motor Company,” he continues, before envisioning a future Toyota sports car. “If we made a conventional sports car we could apply a super capacitor system or combine a super capacitor system and hybrid battery to achieve a similar braking performance,” he says.

SEE ALSO: Toyota FT-1 Concept Revealed

Is this what is to live under the hood of the FT-1 production vehicle? That seems unlikely as previous reports stated that the Supra successor would be gas-powered.

While powertrain details provided on the FT-1 concept were slim, Toyota did go out of its way to comment that it envisions the mysterious powerplant to be a high-tech internal-combustion engine.

But trying to keep Toyota away from hybrid technology seems to be as hard as fighting gravity. The Japanese automaker has previously shown a high-powered hybrid drivetrain in the heart of the tiny Yaris, while a collaboration with BMW promises that a hybrid-powered sports car is on the way.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Makes 420-HP

There’s the possibility that the folks behind the GT86 (also known as the Scion FR-S) are toying with the idea of a KERS style mild-hybrid with regenerative brakes to provide an extra boost of power.

The reports are all over the map, but one thing is for sure – a hybrid powered sports car from Toyota is on the minds of many at the company. And with hybrid powered competitors like the Acura NSX and the likely gas-electric Nissan GT-R on the horizon, can a hybrid super sports car from Toyota be far off?

GALLERY: Toyota FT-1 Concept Live Photos


GALLERY: Toyota TS 030 Race Car


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  • mr245

    Being in the consumer electronics field myself for years I know capacitors weigh less and last much longer than batteries. So as the rest of the world sleeps, Toyota develops the new technology in Lemans racing. I believe cars in the future will be hybrid powered with the use of capacitors.