Toyota GR GT3 testing at Spa-Francorchamps is proper V8 business

I have said before, I will say again, I really like electric cars. Not just the fancy stuff, either. I rented a Chevrolet Bolt in Washington D.C., and it was a perfect little runabout for getting around the DMV — the locals’ unexpected and initially confusing nickname for the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area. But. I also still believe the opening 25 seconds of this video of the Toyota GR GT3 World Endurance Championship racer lapping Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit are what the term “enthusiast” has historically been about. Not a particular kind of car or engine, but certain kinds of sensory thrills that only come from thousands of controlled explosions inside blocks of iron and aluminum. This car sounds sensational. Looks it, too.

Although the GR GT3 appears far enough along that it could line up on a start line this season, last we heard, Toyota’s prepping the car for competition in 2026. In February 2023, Gazoo Racing WEC team director Rob Leupen told Motorsport, “The date is in alignment with the road car side, which is following the philosophy of Toyota to have a motorsport-bred car on the road,” adding that he believed the path to the street went through Lexus. Rumor has it the road version will be the successor to the Lexus LFA. If it comes with a price equivalent to the LFA’s $375,000 MSRP, we say that’s a shame. We’d rather get a road car on the Chevrolet, Ford and Porsche side of the GT3-based side of the fence rather than the Aston Martin, Ferrari and McLaren side. For the enthusiasts, see.

On the sidelines of this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson gave Sportscar 365 a timeline of “mid-2026-ish” for the Lexus GT3-derived road car. “The homologation has to be done and there are a lot of steps involved. Everything is going to plan, but you have to leave yourselves a bit of leeway.” The race car’s ideal debut would be at that year’s Rolex race for global campaigns in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the WEC and Japan’s SUPER GT.  

Toyota still won’t detail the powertrain, but everyone’s expecting a twin-turbo V8. We hope the sound makes the trip to 2026; FIA regulations mandate that from 2025, “the sound emitted from each car must not exceed 100 dbA during all on-track sessions,” measured from about 50 feet away at the edge of the track. So check out the vid and enjoy the noise while you’ve got it.

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