Toyota has taken the wraps off its new LMP1-H challenger, the TS040 Hybrid, which will compete in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship.
Revealed Thursday at Paul Ricard, ahead of the The Prologue official FIA WEC pre-season test, the Japanese manufacturer’s latest-generation model is being touted as the most technologically advanced Toyota yet.
PHOTOS: Toyota TS040 Hybrid Launch
The TS040 utilizes two hybrid systems, with a motor generator unit on both the front and rear axles. It creates a 473 hp hybrid boost to compliment the 512 hp gasoline-powered V8 engine, which has been enlarged from 3.4 to 3.7 liters for 2014.
Combined together, the car boasts a power output of nearly 1,000 hp when both its ERS units are activated.
Toyota has opted to go with 6MJ of hybrid capacity, per lap of Le Mans, a significant increase over rival Audi, which revealed Tuesday that it would run to the 2MJ level.
Under the new regulations, manufacturers are permitted to utilize up to 8MJ per lap of Le Mans, but resulting in less fuel allocation.
“We considered bigger hybrid capacity but settled on 6MJ as anything greater, using kinetic energy recovery, had a negative effect on lap time due to increased weight,” explained Hisatake Murata, General Manager, Motor Sports Unit Development Division.
“To recover that amount of energy under braking, the rear motor-generator was not enough so we returned to the four-wheel hybrid concept we developed from 2007 to 2011, before the regulations limited hybrid boost to just one axle.”
The TS040 Hybrid made its on-track debut at Paul Ricard on Jan. 21 and has since completed a dozen days of testing across Europe, totaling more than 11,000 miles.
“New regulations always create a challenge and the obvious challenges for 2014 have been to change so many things at the same time, with significant regulation changes in terms of chassis and powertrain,” said technical director Pascal Vasselon.
“The main challenge has been to create a more complex car with more hybrid hardware to achieve higher hybrid power and at the same time reduce significantly the weight due to a 45kg reduction in minimum weight.
“That has been a real headache but using lightweight materials and efficient design optimisation processes, we have achieved our targets.”
As previously announced, the two full-season entries will feature a re-shuffle in the driver lineup, with Stephane Sarrazin moving to the No. 7 car with Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima and Nicolas Lapierre joining Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi in the No. 8 machine.