With the FT-86 in its final stages of development, resources at Toyota are gradually liberated and redirected to the maker’s ‘other’ sports car, the little known GRMN Hybrid Convertible.
First made its public appearance at last year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota has confirmed that it is “considering a production version” of the car. To that end, a revised version of the same car will be revealed at this weekend’s Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race.
Unlike the rear-driven FT-86, the GRMN is all-wheel drive, with a mid-mounted V6 petrol engine driving the rear wheels, whilst an electric motor borrowed from the Lexus RX450h drives the front. Like all hybrids, the sports car can cruise in EV mode in near silence around the city.
The V6 engine is Toyota’s familiar 3.5-litre unit currently serving various models from the Camry to the RX. It outputs 246bhp (181kW). When combined with the electric motor, the car produces a maximum output of 295bhp (217kW). Compared to the first iteration, the revised GRMN Hybrid is 200kg heavier, tipping the scales at 1500kg.
The race car also sports revised styling compared to the show car. The front bumper will be thoroughly redesigned with a more aggressive front spoiler. The headlights are no longer enclosed and completed by a sharper nose.
At 4350mm long, 1890mm wide and 1200 tall, the GRMN is 270mm longer, 150mm wider and 195mm lower than the Honda CR-Z, the closest comparative model as a sports hybrid car.
Toyota Press Release:
TOYOTA TO UNVEIL NEW GRMN HYBRID CONCEPT AT NÜRBURGRING
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will show the “GRMN (GAZOO Racing1 tuned by MN2) SPORTS HYBRID Concept II”, a convertible mid-engined petrol-electric hybrid concept, at the 39th Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race taking place this weekend.
The GRMN SPORTS HYBRID Concept II is an updated version of a petrol-electric sports concept shown at Tokyo Auto Salon in 2010. The vehicle features advanced styling and an improved sports-hybrid AWD system with the main power unit (petrol engine, rear-wheel drive motors and transmission) mid-mounted in conjunction with a front-wheel drive motor. Positioned this way it improves manoeuvrability, increases driving enjoyment and provides enhanced stability.
Toyota launched the world’s first mass-produced petrol-electric vehicle, the Prius, in 1997, and has long conducted active research on applying hybrid technologies to racing and sports cars. The GRMN SPORTS HYBRID Concept II is the next step in the evolution of these efforts.
GRMN SPORTS HYBRID Concept II
Maximum output (bhp)
System Maximum output (bhp)
Body Length (mm)
1,500 or less
Mid-engined with front electric motor
24 Hours Nürburgring Race Outline
39th ADAC Zurich 24h-Race 2011
June 23-26, 2011 (main competition runs from June 25 and 26)
Nürburgring (Nürburg, Ahrweiler, State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)
1 A vehicle-development and motor-sports support program created by GAZOO, which also operates the GAZOO.com customer-participation portal site launched in 1998, “GAZOO mura” driving events and the “Drive Kingdom” large-scale test-drive events for the general public.
2 Stands for “Meister of Nürburgring”, referring to Hiromu Naruse (1944-2010), a TMC test driver and chief of the GAZOO Racing team.