A day before the official testing of their new LMP1 race car beings at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, Toyota unveils to the public the TS040 Hybrid. The new race car will take on some properly mighty rivals at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the Audi R18 e-tron and the Porsche 919 Hybrid. And it seems to be well-equipped for the job.
The 2014 Toyota TS040 Hybrid is powered by a 3.7-litre V8 petrol engine that makes 520PS, and a hybrid module with 480PS, which brings the total output to 1000PS and makes the car all-wheel-drive. Despite the colossal power, the TS040 is 25 percent more efficient than the 2013 car.
The closed-cockpit LMP1 racer with radical aerodynamics uses specially-developed lubricants from team partner Total, and has an advanced energy recuperation system that uses super-capacitors. This technology, Toyota confirms, can be used in future production models.
The job of tuning the chassis was given to Toyota Motorsport (TMG) in Cologne, who has extensive Nurburgring experience, while the V8 engine was engineered at the Higashfuji technical centre, the research base where Toyota’s next-generation road car technology is also developed.
Toyota TS040 Hybrid will begin an official championship test session tomorrow, in preparation for its competition debut at the season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone race on 20 April. The driver lineup for the 2014 WEC season includes Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima in car No7, and Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi in car No8.