Toyota has revealed that its TS040 Hybrid could move to the 8MJ hybrid subclass next year, with work ongoing to run with the maximum amount of hybrid power allowed in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Japanese manufacturer’s pair of LMP1-H entries currently utilizes the 6MJ hybrid energy output per lap of Le Mans, the same level used by Porsche’s 919 Hybrid. Audi, meanwhile, runs in the 2MJ subclass.
“In an ideal world, the most efficient system will be an 8MJ within the weight limit. There’s no mystery about that,” Toyota Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon told Sportscar365.
“The question is really [if] we’re able to implement an 8MJ system system within the weight limit.
“I think we are all working to try to stretch our development to fit the highest possible hybrid class within the weight limit.”
Vasselon would not give a timeline of when they may be able to make the increased capacity, although it is also exploring the possibility of running a battery-based hybrid system either in addition to or as a replacement to its current two supercapacitor units.
“We are constantly monitoring the evolution of the two technologies,” he said. “At some point, and I don’t know, we may go for another technology when it will be established and deliver a better performance. But I’m not able to say when.”
Next year’s TS040 Hybrid will be an evolution of the current model, with Vasselon expecting the cars to utilize the same tub design.
Plans, however, are not in place to field a third entry at Le Mans in 2015, despite both Audi and Nissan set to run three cars each, with Porsche currently undecided on a possible expanded effort.
“At the moment, we’re not planning a third car because we simply don’t have the budget,” Vasselon said. “It’s as simple as that. Of course, our first priority is to develop a car with a good level of performance.
“It’s not an option for us to divert some of the budget from the development to just run a third car. No one is interested by three slow cars.”
Toyota’s Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi head into next month’s Six Hours of Fuji with a 11-point lead in the drivers’ championship, while the Toyota now trails Audi by 18 points in the manufacturer’s title race.