After Toyota launched on the market the first mass-produced hybrid - the Prius - in 1997, it instantly became the leader of green technologies. Since then, the company has continuously improved its hybrid technology and has even tried to apply it to racing sports cars.

A significant step in designing a hybrid sports car was represented by the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II, presented for the first time in 2010. GRMN stands for GAZOO Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring and was built in honor of Hiromu Naruse, Toyota’s chief test driver who died in June 2010 in a LFA test car.

The Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II is technically a modified version of the MR2, a two-seat, mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive sports car produced from 1984 until July 2007.

The list of upgrades made for the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II includes an aggressive body kit, more carbon fiber and the addition of a hybrid powertrain. The hybrid system consists of a 3.5 liter V6 engine and an electric motor, both units offering a total output of 300 hp.

  • 2010 Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II
  • Year:
    2010
  • Make:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    300
  • Torque @ RPM:
    272
  • Top Speed:
    137 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    4.5 sec.
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:

Design and interior

2010 Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II Exterior
- image 476775

Overall, the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II keeps the same proportions as the MR2, so the exterior dimensions continue to be close to its cousin. Hence, the GRMN measures 4.35 m long, 1.89 m wide and 1.2 m tall with a wheel base of 2.57 m. Though, as the MR2 look is behind today’s standards, the new hybrid sport car needed to receive a set of key modifications to make it look better.

The list of upgrades starts up front, where the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II features a new set of headlights mounted deep in black cases. The lower edge of the headlights continues to flow into the bumper where it follows the line of the front air intake and then moves even lower where it meets the sharp lip of the front spoiler. This contour line is painted in a different color than the rest of the body, thus giving the vehicle a distinctive appearance.

The rear end design features a similar bold edge which starts to cut its way from the taillights, continues through the bumper and then gels seamlessly with the diffuser which is fitted with two circular tailpipes.

The finishing touch is given by the massive rims which are wrapped in 225/40R19 tires in the front and 255/35R19 tires in the back.

All these unique design elements were enough to give the old MR2 model an entirely new look.

Apart from the visual enhancements, Toyota has also modified the material used for some body parts. Hence, to keep the vehicle’s body light and strong at the same time, Toyota chose carbon fiber. The intensive use of this lightweight material resulted in a gross vehicle weight of only 1500 kg.

Apart from the exterior modifications, the GRMN has also received a fresh interior design which copes great with today’s standards. Most of the materials are of course part of the first class, while the build quality should make Toyota proud of itself.

The entire cockpit evokes the same sporty theme found at the MR2 model, but every detail was reinterpreted in a modern style. We also especially like the flat-bottomed steering wheel and the low driving position which enhances the sporty feel of the cabin.

Engines and technologies

2010 Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II Exterior
- image 476776

Unlike the MR2 which was a rear wheel drive car, the new Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II sends power to all its wheels, which make it a completely different car than its cousin.

Moreover, the vehicle sports a new 3.5 liter V6 engine, good for 247 hp. In a similar manner with the MR2, this petrol engine is used to power the rear wheels. The big difference however, is represented by the introduction of a electric motor, used to drive the front wheels and powered by a battery pack mounted under the vehicle. Both powerplants work in tandem and reward you with a total output of 300 hp which is enough to send you to 100 kmph in less than five seconds.

Thanks to the al wheel drive system and the layout used for the petrol and electric units, the GRMN is more stable at high speeds than the standard MR2 roadster. Practically, this means that you can attack corners with more confidence on loose traction surfaces.

Verdict

2010 Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II Exterior
- image 476777

It’s true that the Toyota GRMN Sports Hybrid II is only a concept, but this doesn’t mean it’s less cool. The concept shows Toyota’s determination to move further with its green technologies and it’s also a solid proof that it plans to design a totally fresh sport hybrid.

The main point of the entire concept is the hybrid all-wheel-drive system which it’s a big step further for Toyota, as it has the potential to deliver better performances than a conventional two-wheel-drive system, increasing the vehicle’s handling and stability at high speeds.

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