Toyota's new Le Mans car - official pics and spec


Following the release of a couple of grainy images of its new Le Mans challenger, Toyota has now gone ahead with the 'proper' unveil, giving us official images and the full spec of its new endurance racer.


Key things to know are the fact that the TS030 ('third Toyota Sport Prototype' - it follows on from the TS010 and TS020 projects of the 1990s) is the first hybrid LMP1, but that its exact set-up is yet to be confirmed.

The petrol part will definitely come from a 3.4-litre V8, but since regulations state that the electric motors can only drive one set of wheels, Toyota is yet to decide which axle will get an electric boost - it's looking at a rear-drive system made by Denso, or a front-driving one supplied by Aisin AW.

The carbon fibre chassis, on the other hand, has been an in-house piece of work by Cologne-based Toyota motorsport GmbH - that would be the lot that previously created and ran the Toyota F1 team.


The new car will make its debut at the second round of the new FIA World Endurance Championship - the 6-hour race at Spa on 5 May - with Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kasuki Nakajima at the wheel (though not at the same time, obviously). There will be a second car at Le Mans, but that line-up has yet to be announced.

So there you have it, the first - and so far only - hybrid Le Mans car. Though rumour has it that Audi is working on its own hybrid competitor...




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Comments (90) Join the discussion on the forum

  • SystemParanoia 30 Jan 2012

    toyota are really going all out this year with their motorsport involvement biggrin

    this can only be a very good thing!

    GT300 Prius biggrin


  • Nick1point9 30 Jan 2012

    Baron Von Alders said:
    robmlufc said:
    SystemParanoia said:
    can it do a lap at race speed under EV power ?

    otherwise i cant see the fuel saving advantage of being able to travel the length of the pit lane under electric power ?
    The capacitors wont hold enough charge for a full lap at racing speed, its used to compliment the engine. More torque/power with no effect on MPG, I think.
    What about behind any safety car at a reduced pace?

    Might give them a nice advantage in reducing pit-stops?
    Depending on round trip efficiencies they save up to 10 laps of fuel around the 24 hours.

    The 'pit lane test' isn't really about usefulness during the race - its about proving that the hybrid system has sufficient power and energy capabilities to be worthwhile.

  • SystemParanoia 27 Jan 2012

    thats a good point.. also it would allow them to run till the tank is dry, without having to bother managing fuel at all as they will always be able to get back to pits

  • Baron Von Alders 27 Jan 2012

    robmlufc said:
    SystemParanoia said:
    can it do a lap at race speed under EV power ?

    otherwise i cant see the fuel saving advantage of being able to travel the length of the pit lane under electric power ?
    The capacitors wont hold enough charge for a full lap at racing speed, its used to compliment the engine. More torque/power with no effect on MPG, I think.
    What about behind any safety car at a reduced pace?

    Might give them a nice advantage in reducing pit-stops?

  • robmlufc 27 Jan 2012

    SystemParanoia said:
    can it do a lap at race speed under EV power ?

    otherwise i cant see the fuel saving advantage of being able to travel the length of the pit lane under electric power ?
    The capacitors wont hold enough charge for a full lap at racing speed, its used to compliment the engine. More torque/power with no effect on MPG, I think.

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