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Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid Launch

After successful campaigns in the first two FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) seasons, today TOYOTA Racing has unveiled its challenger for this year’s test of man and machine – the TS040 HYBRID.

The covers were taken off the beautiful new car at the circuit Paul Ricard in France, and it looks more than ready for a season of intense competition as we enter a new era of hybrid motorsport.

The machine

The TS040 HYBRID represents the most advanced hybrid technology in racing by combining an impressive 480PS of four-wheel-drive hybrid boost, with 520PS from the 3.7litre petrol engine, to give our drivers a maximum power of 1000PS at their disposal.

As well as the move to four-wheel-drive, a new TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing has been developed specifically for the revised WEC technical regulations which place particular emphasis on fuel economy. A 25% reduction in fuel usage is required and the savings have been achieved in the new car through efficiencies in the powertrain, aerodynamics and driving style.

An increase in hybrid power

These new, more open regulations have also allowed TOYOTA Racing to implement a major increase in hybrid power, with a motor generator added to the front axle to complement the existing unit on the rear.

So as our TS040 HYBRID races around circuits this year, its motor generators in tandem with the mechanical brakes will be harvesting energy under braking. This energy is then transferred via an inverter to a super-capacitor which when the driver accelerates, delivers the power back to the motor generators to spur the car on with five ten second power boosts.

A major evolution

Designed, manufactured and operated by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany, the new car is a major evolution on its predecessor, the TS030 HYBRID. A reduction in width of both the car and its tyres along with the introduction of a series of safety items meant particular attention was paid to airflow around the car.

Extensive development in TMG’s state-of-the-art wind tunnels has resulted in an incredibly lightweight and aerodynamically efficient design. This has led to a reduction in drag that has improved fuel economy, while an increase in downforce has generated more grip.

The men

The other equally important part of the package is our drivers, and there has been a slight reshuffle to our line-up for 2014. By placing drivers with similar height, driving style and car set-up requirements together, the two cars have been optimised. This year, car #7 will be driven by Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima, while the sister car #8 will have Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi behind the wheel.

Team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita summed up mood in the team saying: “We learnt a lot in our first two seasons in WEC and all this know-how has gone into our new TS040 HYBRID, which is the most technologically advanced TOYOTA ever to compete on the track.”

The TS040 HYBRID has completed 12 days and 18,000km in testing already, and with a two-day Prologue test at Paul Ricard starting tomorrow the countdown to the first race at Silverstone on 20th April has begun in earnest.

We can’t wait for the lights to turn green – good luck this year TOYOTA Racing!

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