Toyota unveils new hybrid racer

Toyota, ahead of the forthcoming 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season, has announced plans to enter a new car this year to take part in events like the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The TS040 Hybrid, as it is being called, follows on the successes of the previous generation TS030, which established the Japanese automaker as a player in the field of hybrid powertrains for motorsports.

Since the TS040 is still in prototype phase and awaiting confirmation on its entry, details are still a little scarce on the car. What is known is that with the addition of an Aisin AW motor/generator on the front axle, in combination with the Denso unit at the rear, the Toyota Hybrid System – Racing – now provides all-wheel drive. Both units deliver additional braking power and recover braking energy, transferred to a super-capacitor. During acceleration, the motor/generators reverse their function, acting as motors to deliver a significant power boost.

image via Toyota

Toyota said the four-wheel drive hybrid power is matched to a gas V8 engine, and that both elements were developed at its Higashifuji technical center, where its next-generation road car technology is also being tested. Like its predecessors, the TS040 serves as a real-world test bench for Toyota’s latest hybrid concepts.

More details about the TS040 Hybrid, added company officials, will be released prior to its first official test session at the end of March.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling