Toyota teases GT3 race car, Lexus hydrogen off-roader

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. is teasing new concepts in Japan, including a sleek Toyota GT3 racer, that could foreshadow a new road car, a rugged plug-in hybrid Lexus NX crossover, a hydrogen-powered recreational buggy from Lexus and a sporty GRMN Yaris hot hatchback.

The GR GT3 Concept, perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch, will debut as a running prototype later this year, Gazoo Racing President Koji Sato said. Toyota will enter the car in global GT3 series, meaning that the car would have to be based on a mass production model.

Sato and Toyota President Akio Toyoda unveiled the cars on Friday in an online presentation for the Tokyo Auto Salon, an annual customized car show that remains popular among car fans despite the decline of traditional auto shows.

The executives engaged in casual car talk on a stage set up like racing garage, replete with an assortment of spare parts and oil cans strewn about.

The black GR GT3 Concept, with its long hood, pointed nose and raked rear end, resembles nothing currently in the Toyota or Lexus lineup. But the lines hark back to the fourth-generation A80 Toyota Supra or perhaps channels the silhouette of the Toyota 2000GT or even Lexus LFA.

Sato noted that GT3 cars compete in 24-hour races at Nurburgring and Le Mans, offering a peek at Gazoo Racing’s intentions for upcoming motorsports seasons.

Gazoo Racing currently deploys a GT3 race car based on the Lexus RC F.

“The first order was to develop a car that can win races,” Sato said.

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