The third of three leading LMP1 contenders for the FIA World Endurance Championship, Toyota Gazoo Racing, has taken the wraps off its TS050 Hybrid at the Prologue in Paul Ricard in France.
The key change for Toyota this year is its powertrain concept, which is a 2.4-liter, twin-turbo, direct injection V6 petrol engine is combined with an 8MJ hybrid system, both of which are developed by Motor Sport Unit Development Division at Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre. The hybrid system also shifts from a super capacitor to battery storage.
It’s a change from a normally aspirated V8 that has served it well in the previous TS040 Hybrid. Toyota walked away with the 2014 World Championship but struggled mightily in 2015 trying to keep pace with Porsche and Audi.
New regulations this year also slow the LMP1 cars down.
“The regulations for this season include a reduction in fuel flow and total fuel energy of approximately 7.5 percent,” said Hisatake Murata, General Manager Motor Sport Unit Development Division for Toyota. “As motorsport engineers, we want to always increase the performance of the powertrain so it was important to compensate for this reduction with a more efficient, powerful powertrain.
“We believe a V6, direct injection, twin turbo engine achieves the best balance of power and efficiency considering the current regulations. Combined with our move into the 8MJ class, this will give us significantly improved torque compared to the previous powertrain; this was a key target for the new car.
“The new powertrain presents some challenges, particularly in terms of weight and cooling, but the team at Higashi-Fuji and Cologne has worked very hard to address these and I am confident we have met the challenge. We face tough opposition, as last year showed, but we are ready and I cannot wait for Silverstone.”
Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima share the No. 5 Toyota with Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, the latter driver replacing the retired Alexander Wurz, in the No. 6 Toyota.