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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Built for Le Mans in the 1990s, SARD made one MC8 road car. This is it.



The GT1 era was a golden age of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Manufacturers were required to have roadgoing versions of the race cars, which, of course, led to as many rules being bent as possible. It saw the introduction of some of the wildest road cars that the world ever saw, and since only one car needed to be built for homologation, manufacturers went nuts.

One car that competed at Le Mans during this time was the SARD MC8-R. SARD, short for Sigma Advanced Racing Development, is a Japanese tuner and race team that was aligned with Toyota. The MC8-R was a heavily modified MR2 with a twin-turbo 4.0 liter V8 under the hood. It had 600 horsepower and looked the part, but in 1995 and 1996 it was up against some of the toughest competition Le Mans had ever seen.

The MC8-R didn't stand a chance against cars like the McLaren F1, 911 GT1, and Viper GTS-R. In 1995 it retired on lap 14, in 1996 it finished second to last. That's too bad, because it looked amazing.

What looked even cooler was the version SARD built for the road. Pictures of it were released when it was built in the 1990s, but then it disappeared into hiding.

However, while cruising YouTube today and discovering that an MR2 TRD2000 recently surfaced on Goo-net, I came across a video from 2015 of the SARD MC8. Apparently, after nearly 20 years hidden away, the SARD appeared in photos in Japan with a few light body modifications.

You can learn the full story of what could be the coolest MR2 ever made below:


Update 3/13/2018: The MC8 has been spotted on the back of a flat bed in Japan. Whoa!




SOURCE : SARD MC8





Minty AW11SC
 

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Definitely heard of it. When I was Instagram maybe 4-5yrs ago, I came across a page that a group was trying to build a replica. Not sure what came of it

It was LS powered with a Boxster trans and tons of tube work to extend the rear. And I think they were using Corvette control arms and rear hubs
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)

The Rarest Hypercar of the 90s | Toyota GT-One (TS020)


Fast forward to.......

Jan. 12, 2018
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Unveils GR Super Sport Concept at Tokyo Auto Salon 2018Next-generation super sports car incorporates hybrid technology honed through WEC
News Release Models Toyota GR Motorsport WEC Events
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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing unveils the GR Super Sport Concept, a concept car that incorporates hybrid technology honed through participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), along with its test car, to the world today at Tokyo Auto Salon 2018.
GR Super Sport Concept
GR

Super Sport Concept
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims to refine its cars and people toward the goal of making ever-better cars through participation in motorsport activities, including global and national races and rallies. The technologies and know-how acquired through such activities are subsequently fed back into new production vehicles. In Japan, orders for the Vitz GRMN, a limited edition model that stands at the pinnacle of the GR sports car series, are scheduled to be taken starting in April. It was developed by incorporating learnings from the Vitz as it underwent road testing at Nürburgring, which is said to be the world's most grueling course, and through its tackling of the Japanese Rally Championship.

Furthermore, Toyota's continued participation in the WEC is seen as a highly beneficial and necessary project in terms of developing cutting-edge hybrid systems and electrified vehicle (EV) systems. Fuel economy-enhancing technologies and other developments gained through such tough technological competitions are already being fed back into production vehicles. The newly revealed GR Super Sport Concept is composed of mostly the same main parts as the TS050 Hybrid race car that competes in the WEC. Beneath the beautifully flowing and original form are a V6 twin turbocharger and a Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R) powertrain, which have been honed through actual racing. With its high-efficiency EV system and lean-burn engine, this next-generation super sports car is set to deliver both ultimate power and environmental performance.
Specifications

GR Super Sport Concept
PowertrainEngine typetwin-turbo direct injection V6 engine
Engine capacity2,400cc
PowerCombined power735kW/1000ps (Engine + Hybrid Motors)
Hybrid systemToyota Hybrid System - Racing (THS-R)
RimsSize F18×13J
Size R18×13J
TyresSize F330/710R18
Size R330/710R18

Shigeki Tomoyama (President, GAZOO Racing Company)

"Rather than developing production cars into sports cars, we aim to work out how to incorporate the know-how developed through races and rallies into production cars amid various restrictions, and this is how competing contributes to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's efforts toward making ever-better cars. Thus, this is the starting point for Toyota's completely new challenge to develop sports cars from active race cars. Although it will be some time before you all have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, I hope that the GR Super Sport Concept will give you a taste of what we aim to achieve with our next-generation sports cars.
At the end of last year, following the announcement that Toyota would continue competing in the WEC, President Akio Toyoda commented that 'more than 100 years have passed since the birth of the automobile.

As the industry approaches times of tremendous change, I am strongly determined to make sure that cars will be fun for the next 100 years.' At CES 2018, held in the United States at the beginning of the year, the e-Palette Concept was revealed as a new shared mobility model for communities. If the e-Palette Concept is the next generation of the horse-drawn carriage, the GR Super Sport Concept would be the polar opposite as the next-generation racehorse. Its appeal is more personal, like that of a much-loved horse to its owner. Despite the differences between the two concept models, both are electrified vehicles equipped with the latest IT technologies and are set to become safe and environmentally friendly connected cars.

Even as electrification and IT techonologies accelerate, the availability of different types of cars, including polar opposite models like the GR Super Sport Concept and the e-Palette Concept, means that they will never become a commodity. Furthermore, it is an unchanging fact that people want to travel freely, access distant places, and to get there quicker than everyone else in attractive vehicles. The feelings that one has for a car that can do all this are rich and heart-pounding.

Although our challenge to make 'cars that will be fun' for the next 100 years has just begun, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims to continue making exciting cars to bring smiles to our customers' faces and to contribute to the future of the automobile industry. We look forward to your continued support in achieving this aim."

SOURCE: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Unveils GR Super Sport Concept at Tokyo Auto Salon 2018 | Toyota | Global Newsroom | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website

They came unbelievably close to winning Le Mans in 2016 when on the last lap of the race,
as Rob Leupen suggested to Motorsport.com wrote immediately after, that a turbo-related issue was ultimately responsible for the stoppage of the #5 TS050 Hybrid driven by Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi.

“Car #5 suffered a technical defect on a connector on the air line between the turbo charger and the intercooler, causing a loss of turbo charger control,” said the spokesman.

“The team attempted to modify the control settings to restore power and this was eventually achieved, allowing the car to complete the final lap.



"However, it was achieved too late to complete that lap within the required six minutes [leading to the car's exclusion from the results].”

A big fat disqualification it was, and a huge embarrassment because all of the top Toyota corporate brass were present to witness. This was a major faux pas vis-a-vis Japanese culture. Akio Toyoda held strong, pressing forward with the project with countless engineers and a uncapped budget.

All of this morphed into the Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid that won Le Mans finally for Toyota. Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso in the #8 TS050 HYBRID started from pole position and took the chequered flag after 388 tense and often dramatic laps at the Circuit de La Sarthe . Mazda may have been the first Japanese manufacturer to succeed but now it was Toyota's turn, a feat they have since repeated.



2018 Le Mans 24 Hours result:
1st #8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 388 laps
2nd #7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing +2 laps

3rd #3 Rebellion Racing (Laurent/Beche/Menezes) +12 laps
4th #1 Rebellion Racing (Lotterer/Jani/Senna) +13 laps
5th #26 G-Drive Racing (Rusinov/Vergne/Pizzitola) +19 laps
6th #36 Signatech Alpine (Lapierre/Negrão/Thiriet) +21 laps

The story continues, as Toyota will be competing at le Mans this year in the new Hyper Car Class. The 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 11-12, 2022. It has officially entered 2 cars and is called the Toyota GR10 Hybrid.



Think about it. All this, from a program that originated from the mighty MR2, a mid-engine car with a Tercel front end and a Corolla rear end utilizing a tiny 1.6 liter 4-banger engine called the 4AGE .


As a footnote, I know a highly knowledgeable Toyota guy who I buy parts from. He has a VERY wealthy brother in law that lives in Japan who told him that Toyota was planning to sell a very limited production run of these car's to select privateer's commemorating the 2018 Le Mans win, and it was by invite only ( in the same way that Ferrari sometimes does ). The brother in law had a deposit on one but for whatever reason, he was told that this project was cancelled.

Minty AW11SC
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ride on board the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing GR010 HYBRID Hypercar, as Brendon Hartley clinches pole position for the Le Mans 24 Hours.




Pascal Vasselon was a tire engineer for Michelin that was assigned to Toyota when they competed in Formula One. When Toyota quit F1, he stayed with them and has been TD for decades at the factory HQ in Cologne.



Minty AW11SC
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
2022 Le Mans Classic: Race Report


Kazuki Nakajima and Masanori Sekiya take the TOYOTA TOM's 85C that was once raced by Kazuki's father to an emotional class win at Le Mans Classic.


Minty AW11SC
 

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Now I feel lucky haha. 🙈 This one was a special day.
It all started in Tokyo, scrolling through AirBNB and seeing A guy with a race helmet as an Avatar.
Thought - that's funny, let's call this dude, he is located on our route.

Turned out this guy was racing at Suzuka with a whole team the weekend - and that's where we first met him. Basically on the Starter field!
After that it was a mixture of him showing us Japanese culture, food and especially bringing us together with other teams, enthusiasts and car shops. It really escalated.
One day he said he has something special for me, and we took a (short) ride in his Evo and that's where we saw this beast!
 
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