Representing the next step towards what some believe will ultimately become a future production model, the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II is set to make its first public appearance this weekend at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. This second-generation recast represents a major revamp of the original Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept, a vehicle based on the MR2 platform that was displayed at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2010. While retaining the same two-seat roadster body and front-motor/mid-engine all-wheel-drive configuration, this iteration boasts decidedly more sophisticated styling as well as an improved sports-hybrid powertrain setup.
The name of this potential Toyota-to-be is an acronym that stands for "GAZOO Racing tuned by MN." GAZOO is a factory-friendly vehicle-development and competition-support operation and the MN stands for "Meister of Nurburgring," a respectful homage to the late Hiromu Naruse, the automaker's chief test driver and head of GAZOO Racing who was killed in an accident last year while evaluating a Lexus LFA on a public road adjacent to the 'Ring.
Capable of operating on its gasoline engine, as a pure EV or via a combination of the two, the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II matches a mid-ship 3.5-liter V6 that powers its rear wheels with an advanced electric motor and lithium battery pack under the hood to energize the front wheels. Collectively, the system develops 295 horsepower, which should make this 3,300 lb. roadster respectably quick. As for its other vital stats, the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II is 171.3 inches long, 74.4 inches wide, has a 101.4-inch wheelbase and is fitted with 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in sticky 225/40 front tires and 255/35 rear rubber.