TOYOTA Racing took the wraps off the new TS040 Hybrid, the car which will take the team into the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and a new era of hybrid-powered motorsport. The new car represents the most advanced hybrid technology in modern racing and will make its competition debut at the season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone race on 20 April.
TOYOTA will be taking on rival manufacturers with a car that benefits from 480PS of all-wheel drive hybrid boost in addition to the 520PS produced by its 3.7-litre V8 petrol engine, taking maximum power to 1,000PS. The new powertrain has been developed in line with revised WEC technical regulations, which put an emphasis on fuel economy. Teams are required to use 25 per cent less fuel than in 2013, with savings achieved through changes to powertrains, aerodynamics and driving style.
According to Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor Corporation, “Our participation at the World Endurance Championship is important as it strengthens our status as the world’s pioneering manufacturer of hybrid. Such a link between motorsport technology and future road cars is fundamental to Toyota, with the TS040 HYBRID, like its predecessor, acting as a real-life test bench for our latest hybrid concepts and strengthening our core technology focus of developing next-generation vehicles. TOYOTA has already sold 6 million hybrid road cars since the launch of our first mass production hybrid with the Prius in 1997.”
TOYOTA Racing has made gains in efficiency and performance by using specialist lubricants that they have developed to suit TS040 engine capabilities. The more open regulations have also allowed the team to engineer a major increase in hybrid power, using a new motor-generator on the front axle in addition to the unit at the rear. Under deceleration, these motor generators apply braking force in combination with the traditional mechanical brakes to harvest energy, which is then transferred via an inverter to a super-capacitor. When the car accelerates, the motor-generators reverse their function, delivering a power boost to all four wheels.
The V8 engine has been engineered at the Higashfuji technical centre, the research base where TOYOTA’s next-generation road car technology is also developed. The TS040 Hybrid’s chassis is designed, developed and manufactured by TOYOTA Motorsport (TMG) in Cologne, Germany. It marks a major evolution of last year’s TS030 Hybrid, incorporating design changes dictated by the new championship regulations, including a maximum width reduced by 10cm and the adoption of additional safety features.
In terms of the driver lineup, TOYOTA Racing have shuffled the pack of drivers for the new season, with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima sharing the No7 car and Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi piloting the No8 machine.
TOYOTA Racing ended its first full FIA World Endurance Championship season in 2013 with victory in the Six Hours of Bahrain race, which was the final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. After the final race of the season, TOYOTA Racing’s 2013 total reads 152.5 points for second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, two wins, six podiums and three pole positions. The win marked the 14th and final race for the TS030 HYBRID since its debut at Le Mans in 2012.Since then it has achieved five pole positions and 10 podiums, including five wins.