Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Official: Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype
The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. So, apparently, do the world's automakers. At least, that is, when it comes to Le Mans. Case in point: the new Toyota TS030 Hybrid, the Le Mans prototype that the Japanese automaker has just revealed, mere days after Peugeot announced its departure from the endurance racing scene.
Shorthand for the third Toyota Sport prototype - following the TS010 and TS020 that challenged Le Mans in the '90s - the TS030 is the first LMP1 to employ a hybrid drivetrain. (Peugeot was experimenting with a similar system before shutting down its program, and Audi is rumored to be testing one as well, but has yet to announce it to the public.)
Toyota Hybrid System - Racing (THS-R) couples a 3.4-liter V8 to one of two potential electric motor setups: a front-mounted system developed by Aisin AW or a rear-mounted one from Denso. According to regulations, the electric boost can only drive one set of wheels, and Toyota has yet to decide which, although the 500kJ capacitor supplied by Nisshinbo is already a lock.
The carbon fiber chassis, meanwhile, was developed in-house by Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany - the same outfit that ran the company's F1 team and has been looking for a new project ever since. The facility will serve as the team's headquarters as well, from which it will field one car in its debut at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps - the second round of the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship - on May 5. Toyota is planning to field a second car at Le Mans in June, but while the first car's driver roster is already confirmed, the team has yet to decide on its second line-up.
Follow the jump for the full press release and spec sheet, and check out the first batch of official images in the high-res gallery above.Permalink | Email this | Comments