TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Unveils "GR H2 Racing Concept" at Le Mans 24 Hours
At a press conference of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) at Circuit de la Sarthe in western France on June 9, Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Akio Toyoda revealed for the first time the hydrogen engine vehicle prototype "GR H2 Racing Concept".
Developed with future competition in its sights, the prototype's unveiling was spurred by a recent announcement by the ACO, the organizer of Le Mans 24 Hours, that it would allow hydrogen-engine vehicles to compete―in addition to fuel cell electric vehicles―in the race's hydrogen category.
Speaking at the press conference, Toyoda congratulated the ACO on the centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours (Le Mans) endurance race and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to hone cars through the race.
Toyota has been competing using a hydrogen-engine Corolla in the Super Taikyu Series since Round 3 of the 2021 season and raced the same car in the IDEMITSU 1500 SUPER ENDURANCE 2022 at Thailand's Chang International Circuit in December 2022. By doing so, it has been honing its technologies in the harsh environment of motorsports and, with like-minded partners in and outside the automotive industry, accelerating its efforts for producing, transporting, and using hydrogen toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society. Toyota intends to further advance such efforts for making ever-better motorsports-bred cars and realizing a carbon-neutral society and it looks forward to taking on the challenge of a new generation of Le Mans 24 races.
The "GR H2 Racing Concept" will be on display at ACO's "H2 Village" at the venue of Le Mans during the race. (Exhibition period: Friday, June 9, from 9:30 a.m. local time to Sunday, June 11)
Comments by Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda
My congratulations to the ACO, and all involved, on the 100th anniversary of Le Mans. Le Mans is a place where we not only compete in one of the world's most celebrated races but a place where we can push the boundaries of technology - a place where we can realize the future. We are grateful to the ACO and Le Mans for providing this unique opportunity to share our efforts with the world.
My goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in motorsports without sacrificing anything in terms of performance or excitement.
We look forward to our new GR H2 race car in view of the new Le Mans H2 class in the future.
The sound, the torque, the dynamics, it's all there. Not only are we re-imagining the race car, we're doing it with zero emissions. Here's to the next 100 years of checkered flags!
Comments by ACO President Pierre Fillon
This June 9, 2023 will be a milestone in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship: a manufacturer, and which manufacturer, the nﾟ1 in the world, has just presented its Hydrogen Endurance project. 100 years ago, the ACO created the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a real technological laboratory for a car in full development. Today, mobility is undergoing a revolution, that of the energy transition and the 24 hours of Le Mans participate in the search for sustainable technologies. Since 2018, the ACO, with MissionH24 and GreenGT, has been promoting hydrogen, a safe and efficient energy carrier. This day is a new crucial step for the creation of the Hydrogen category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Once again, Endurance demonstrates its commitment to sustainable mobility, in line with automotive players. I would like to salute this challenge from Toyota, the vision of these men and women. Toyoda San, by officially presenting this Hydrogen project today, you have left your mark on the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
‘GR H2 Racing Concept’ vehicle outline
Hydrogen engine + Hybrid system