Revealed today at the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France is Toyota’s new FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans challenger, the TS040 Hybrid that replaces the TS030 Hybrid with which the Japanese team competed in the 2012 and 2013 motorsport seasons.
Toyota’s answer to rival manufacturers Audi and Porsche pairs a 3.7-liter V8 petrol engine churning out 520PS (513hp / 383kW) with a supercapacitor system on each axle for a 480PS (473hp / 353kW) all-wheel drive hybrid boost, bringing total output to 1,000PS (986 hp / 736kW). The outgoing TS030 Hybrid had only one electric motor on the rear axle and was rear-wheel drive.
“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,” said Toyota. “When the car accelerates, the motor-generators reverse their function, delivering a power boost to all four wheels.”
Along with the presentation of the new car, Toyota Racing also announced a renewed group of drivers for the new motorsports season with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima sharing the No7 car and Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi piloting the No8 vehicle.
Following this week’s prologue event in France, the TS040 Hybrid will enter the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, beginning with the Six Hours of Silverstone in Britain on April 20.
By John Halas