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UPDATE: New high-res shots of race action added to gallery below

click above image to view high-res pics of the hybrid on race day

Denso team celebrates Tokachi 24 win Toyota Team SARD's specially-prepared Supra HV-R hybrid GT racer has won the Tokachi 24-hour endurance race in Japan. The converted Super GT-spec racing car did so convincingly, too. As the only GT-class car in the field, the Denso SARD Supra HV-R maintained a steady lead of several laps throughout the course of the race, and in the later hours, it essentially dialed things up a notch and ran away from the rest of the field. After starting from the pole position, the Supra completed 616 laps in the ensuing 24 hours -- 19 more than the second-place finisher. The victory marks the first of its type for a hybrid-powered vehicle. The Supra HV-R began life as a retired 480-horsepower Super GT racing car, which then had regenerative braking technology and a trio of hybrid motors added to it for this event. What bearing, if any, the success of the Supra HV-R has on Toyota's plans for production sports hybrid vehicles is unknown. With reports that the FT-HS concept is on its way to production, however, we'll likely be seeing how well a production-spec hybrid sports car fares soon enough.

[Source: SARD]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great! Now build the production Supra. Two flavors please: Hybrid and non-Hybrid.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Though I can only assume this car doesn't get much better than 4 mpg... no science there, just spouting out numbers for sheer amusement... the beautiful thing is it's this kind of publicity that will help hybrids break out of the grocery getter mold with our new generation of drivers. Definitely a much needed dose of cool. I found another neat article on this car, gives a bit more history... http://www.pluggedinprofits.com/articles/toyota+supra-hybrid+car-alternative+vehicle/22
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Hybrid" means so very little. Unsurprisingly lacking from details is the MPG rating of the car compared to other cars in its class... or to itself prior to being converted to a "Hybrid".

      "d00d, my track car is totally hybr1d. The brakes power my in-car fan."
      • 7 Years Ago

      as a person who makes mostly very LIGHT USE of brakes (haven't changed pads in over 20+ years! granted, over 4 cars/trucks), i can fully appreciate the regenerative aspect.

      race cars of course, make very HEAVY USE of their brakes. conventional racers just DUMP all this kinetic energy, THROWING IT AWAY as heat.

      with this car, toyota wisely RECOVERS the energy, then PUMPS IT BACK to the electric motors to rebuild speed again quicker and with less gas burned.

      this is the wave of the future. and why even Formula One racing is considering hybrids.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota should just pull out the old molds, bump the horsepower to 400 and call it a day. I'm not really sure why they are even bothering with the new design.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's going to be very difficult to top the iconic MKIV. But SOMEthing has to be lapping at Toyota's secret R&D facilities, We'll probably only find out about it when the boat docks in Long Beach though...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is great news, congratulations to Toyota. This is clearly a car configured and tuned for racing, but if it helps dispel the myth that hybrids and/or EV's can't perform then it's worth while. Most people I talk with still have no idea that electric motors can do anything more than drive a golf cart.
      The part that I find most interesting is that they used in-wheel motors on the front. It's been well publicized that the guys at Tesla, and others, say that the unsprung weight this adds would make the handling "terrible", at least according to them. Now it shows up in a winning race car. Interesting.
      Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the guys at Tesla and what they are doing, but perhaps they can be wrong on some issues as well.
      Does anyone know if they still retain the friction brakes in front, or did they reduce the overall unsprung weight by using only regenerative breaks in front? Would that even be possible with today's technology in something as demanding as racing?