Along with the announcement, Toyota released the first of three teaser images, which depicts the new badge for the automaker’s future performance-oriented hybrid cars.
As opposed to the stylized S used on its Hybrid Synergy Drive badge, the new badge is dominated by a stylized R. The letter has become synonymous with racing and we’re left in no doubt of that fact thanks to the subtle checkered flag integrated with the design.
All we know is that the concept debuting in Frankfurt will feature this badge and be called the Toyota Hybrid-R. The automaker isn’t saying whether the Hybrid-R previews a future production model but Toyota has long been rumored to be working on a new hybrid sports car to serve as a successor to its Supra. The rumors heightened when Toyota confirmed plans to develop a new sports car platform with BMW, so perhaps this is what the Hybrid-R concept foreshadows.
Furthermore, Toyota has stated in the past that its hybrid Le Mans program, initiated in 2012, would help hone its road car technology. The current 2013-spec Toyota TS030 Hybrid prototype features a 530-horsepower 3.4-liter V-8, which is paired to an electric motor powered by a super capacitor-based energy storage system.
While Toyota’s production hybrids are expected to stick with batteries for the foreseeable future, engineers have been closely following the development of the TS030 Hybrid in order to improve energy recovery capability, and it's likely this that will primarily benefit Toyota's future production hybrids.
We’ll be seeing two more teasers before the reveal of the new Toyota Hybrid-R concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show on September 10. To ensure you don’t miss out on any of our coverage, stay glued to our dedicated hub.
2013 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Le Mans prototype