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by Brett Davis

Toyota has revealed its latest sports hybrid concept vehicle just prior its official debut at this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hour event in Germany. Called the Toyota GRMN SPORTS HYBRID Concept II, the concept study adopts Toyota’s traditional MR2 (Mid-engined Runabout 2 seater) design layout.

The car is presented in a unique and very modern exterior design, incorporating a low-slung body with futuristic, aggressive front and rear bumper bars. At the front, two shards of highlighted grey panel dominate design flow, while the bonnet is wrapped down the middle and meets a large air intake opening in the centre.

The rear end design matches that of the front, and showcases a similarly  highlighted sharp configuration, like it has been hacked at with a sword. It blends perfectly though and gives the car a sporty, focused look. Twin exhaust pipes exit the rear bumper through two cutaways at each corner.

The GRMN, which stands for GAZOO Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring, was built in honour of Hiromu Naruse who died last year in a LFA test car. Mr Naruse was Toyota’s chief test driver and was a highly respected figure in the industry.

As the name suggests, power for the GRMN comes from a hybrid powertrain. It comprises of a 3.5-litre V6 producing 183kW of power, driving the rear wheels, linked to an electric motor system and battery pack providing propulsion for the front wheels. Combined power is rated at 220kW, while the weight of the vehicle is claimed to be under 1500kg.

It sounds like the makings of a fairly decent sports car. Of course, it is just a concept study at this stage and there are no plans for it to go into production. What do you think though, should Toyota release the model into showrooms?




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