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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Unveils "GR H2 Racing Concept" at Le Mans 24 Hours


Toyota Announces 2026 Hydrogen LeMans Effort

Toyota’s look-ahead to 2026 has a lot to do with hydrogen – but if you’re thinking fuel cells, you’re thinking wrong.

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Our voices are still hoarse from shouting, “What the f**k is a kilometer?” all weekend watching the Garage 56 Chevy romp around the Circuit de la Sarthe for the 24 Hours of LeMans, and Toyota is already looking ahead to 2026. That look-ahead has a lot to do with hydrogen, but if you’re thinking fuel cells, you’re thinking wrong.

This is a hydrogen combustion engine — one that combines oxygen with hydrogen in a reciprocating piston assembly and puts power to the ground the same way a fossil-burning V8 does. The only exception? The exhaust isn’t nasty hydrocarbons and pollution, but a fine water vapor.

Now, don’t get me wrong — hydrogen combustion is almost probably not a viable solution for road cars. But race cars? Cars that exist, primarily, to put on a show? Loud + fire almost always = show, and a car like the new Toyota Gazoo Racing GR H2 Racing Concept is bound to put on a bigger, badder, and louder show than a Formula E racer.

Akio Toyoda is Hyped Up on H

Image courtesy Toyota.

“My goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in motorsports without sacrificing anything in terms of performance or excitement,” says Toyota chairman, Aiko Toyoda, a legendary performance-car fiend. “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!”

The production of hydrogen is not especially green, of course, but he probably means tailpipe emissions, right?

Toyota has been pushing the R&D envelope on hydrogen combustion for a while now, even competing with a hydrogen-engine Corolla flying the flag in the Super Taikyu Series since Round 3 of the 2021 season. The same car has also run in the Idemitsu 1500 Super Endurance 2022 at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit in December, and other concepts show along the way prove that Toyota is serious about developing this tech for motorsports.

At least.

You can check out the Toyota Gazoo Racing GR H2 Racing Concept in its world premier video, below, then let us know what you think of Toyoda’s hydrogen-burning concept in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

GR H2 Racing Concept World Premier

Source | Images: Toyota.

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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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