Toyota Unveils GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II

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Last year, Toyota wowed us with a concept study that dropped a hybrid 3.3-liter V6 petrol and an electric motor into a body that looked like an old MR2 on steroids. The car was came of the Japanese carmaker’s partnership with Gazoo Racing, a collaboration that has resulted in a second concept that looks much more modern and elegant.

The successor that has just been unveiled and will debut at this weekend’s highly anticipated 39th Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race in Germany is called the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II.

The name GRMN stands for Gazoo Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring, a name given in honor of the late Hiromu Naruse (1944-2010), Toyota’s chief test driver and head of the racing team, who died in an accident last summer driving a prototype of the Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition in Germany.

Despite having the heritage of the Prius behind it, the GRMN is not about saving the planet and is a fitting tribute to Toyota’s test driver. It’s actually a four-wheel drive car, as a 3.5-liter V6 provides 250 horsepower to the rear wheels, with the electric motor motivates the front wheels. The combined output of the hybrid system and petrol engine is estimated to be in the range of 300 hp.

The styling of the car looks like the mix between a MR2 and an Audi R8 Spyder, especially at the back. In typical Japanese fashion, it’s full of creases, scoops and vents that take some getting used to, but it’s certainly striking.

The concept was not presented as being all-important for Toyota, but it raises one important question: Why not build doesn’t the carmaker build a hybrid MR2 for the road?
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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