All three of the new-for-2014 LMP1 factory prototypes have now completed on-track testing, as preparations continue for the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone in April.
Toyota rolled out its new TS040 Hybrid for the first time last week at Paul Ricard, with Alex Wurz and Anthony Davidson handling driving duties over the course of a three-day test at the French circuit.
While close-up photos of the car were not published, the Japanese manufacturer has confirmed key technical details of the LMP1 contender, which includes a dual hybrid system and an evolution of its normally aspirated V8 gasoline engine used last year.
“This year we will benefit from a four-wheel drive hybrid system using our proven super-capacitor storage solution and this will provide a very substantial acceleration boost,” said Team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita. “It will be fascinating to see how the various solutions compare; personally I can’t wait to get started.”
Audi’s new R18 e-tron quattro, meanwhile, will see a flywheel-based hybrid unit to drive the front axle, with a new exhaust gas-based recovery system that will convert thermal energy into electric power. Under the new rules, up to two energy recovery systems may be used per car.
The German manufacturer has continued an extensive testing program , which has seen the diesel-powered cars at Monza and Sebring, among other circuits, and will undergo a 30-hour endurance test next month.
Newcomers to the LMP1 ranks, Porsche, has had its 919 Hybrid out testing since last June, although the car has gone through a number of developments over the last six months.
Powered by a V4 turbo gasoline engine, the 919 Hybrid recently completed tests in Portimao and Bahrain, with endurance testing planned in the next month as well.
While having each been conducting private testing, all three manufacturers will unite at Paul Ricard in late March for the FIA WEC pre-season test.
At least one car from each team must be present for the official test, scheduled for March 28-29.