TORONTO, Ontario – June 6, 2023 – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing unveiled today the “Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition” concept vehicle at the “Japan. Endless Discovery.” joint exhibit being held by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda), and TGR at the Manufacturers’ Village of the centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours (Le Mans) in France. The new concept vehicle pays tribute to the fabled Le Mans race.
“Japan. Endless Discovery.” is a JNTO initiative carried out with Mazda, which, in 1991, fielded the first Japanese car to take the overall title at Le Mans, and TGR, which represents the only Japanese automaker currently competing in Le Mans and which is now on a five-year winning streak. The exhibit, while looking back at the technologies that Japanese automakers have cultivated in motorsports, including Le Mans, introduces the challenge of expanding options toward achieving a carbon-neutral society, such as vehicle electrification, hydrogen energy, and the use of carbon-neutral fuels.
To convey the scenery and culture of Japan, as well as the history of Mazda and Toyota at Le Mans, through Japanese manga, which are highly popular symbols of modern Japanese culture, the exhibit’s walls have been decorated by manga artist Masahito Soda*1, who is known for his motorsports-themed capeta manga series.
It was at this exhibition that TGR unveiled for the first time in the world the “Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition” concept vehicle, which is based on the latest-generation Toyota Prius and expresses gratitude to Le Mans and France’s Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which is the organizer of the race. The concept vehicle achieves excellent driving performance due in part to its exclusive wheels and performance aerodynamic parts inspired by TGR’s WEC-competing GR010 HYBRID, and it is due to be displayed at the WEC’s Round 6, which is the 6 Hours of Fuji endurance race, and other events.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has been honing hybrid systems at Le Mans and in other WEC races since 2012. The knowledge gained through doing so has been applied to production vehicles such as the Prius, which is synonymous with Toyota’s hybrid vehicles. TGR will continue to develop technologies toward realizing a sustainable mobility society through its efforts to make ever-better motorsports-bred cars.
Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition - main equipment and features:
Comment by Masahito Soda:
“For me, a race fan for as long as I can remember, June is a special month every year. It was fun for me to reflect on the famous scenes so far and to draw while imbuing my pen with respect. To the great Le Mans 24 Hours, which marks its centenary, to Mazda, which was the first Japanese manufacturer to win Le Mans, to TGR, which is contributing to the world through its victories in Le Mans and other motorsports events, and to all the racing drivers who continue to inspire us, I would like to say: “Thank you very much”. I have learned a great deal from Japanese craftmanship and the attitude of taking on challenges while never giving up, especially since I became a manga artist. Toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society and the taking on of new challenges for the future, I believe that this race will surely open up a world of possibilities. I will put everything I have into supporting it again this year.”
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Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has sold over six million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 287 Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability to the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and parts distribution centres in Clarington and Vancouver. Toyota also operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada. Having produced more than nine million vehicles, popular Canadian models built at these facilities include Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid, as well as Lexus NX 250, NX 350 and NX 350h hybrid. The company has sold more than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide and is the number one seller of electrified vehicles in Canada.
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