(VIDEO) TS030: Toyota enters the FIA Endurance Championship with an hybrid car (LMP1)
After the rumour here are some official informations on the participation of Toyota at the FIA Endurance Championship and the 24H of Le Mans 2012 race where two Toyota TS030 will enter.
Developed by Toyota Motorsport (TMG), the TS030 is powered by a 3.4l V8 engine and an hybrid technology -developed by the company Nisshinbo- powered by capacitors.
Called THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System - Racing) this technology has two electric motors on the front and rear axle, they supplement the gasoline engine (total power undisclosed).
Energy recovery is limited to the one authorized by the official regulation, 500kJ between two braking phase, and still according to the rules, power can be transmitted on one axle.
With a carbon fiber chassis developed specifically by TMG and with optimized aerodynamics, the first tests on the Paul Ricard circuit in January showed a reliable and fuel efficient vehicle...
The TS030 can drive in electric only, eg in the Stands.
This prototype and project is important for Toyota in terms of image but also at a strategic level, allowing them to develop and test the new generation of hybrid components under extreme conditions, and pave the way for a more efficient and powerfull hybrid vehicles ...
Peugeot also tested an LMP1 featuring hybrid technology (HYbrid4) but announced a few days ago that they were resigning for the 2012 endurance season.
Toyota will be the first manufacturer to participate in an endurance championship with a hybrid LMP1, an interesting option in endurance racing as Porsche demonstrated it with the GT3 R Hybrid.
"The first time I drove the TS030 Hybrid, it was really great: the simple fact of leaving the garage in electric mode is completely futuristic. Then, when you release the clutch and the engine starts, you find back an old friend! When we put the slick tires, I experienced the very good handling of the car, so I think we have a good base and it is possible to make a really fast car."