Toyota Racing has revealed March 27 the TS040 HYBRID car and revised driver line-up to compete in the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Toyota said this TS040 HYBRID will bring the company into a new era of hybrid motorsport, stating this racecar is the most advanced hybrid technology in racing.
The move to a four-wheel drive hybrid sees Toyota return to a concept which has been part of its racing hybrid development since 2007, when the four-wheel drive Supra HV-R became the first hybrid to win an endurance race, the Tokachi 24 Hours.
Toyota explained the new hybrid system designed for racing has been developed specifically for the revised WEC technical regulations, which put a particular focus on fuel economy. A 25 percent reduction in fuel usage compared to 2013 is imposed, with savings achieved through powertrain, aerodynamics and driving style efficiencies.
A fuel flow meter will monitor fuel usage and penalties will be applied in the race if the three-lap average consumption exceeds defined limits. The fuel allowance is determined by the level of hybrid capacity each team commits to; Toyota Racing has opted for 6MJ of hybrid capacity per lap at Le Mans.
Working with its official partner Total, Toyota Racing said its engineers have found further efficiencies and performance through the use of dedicated Total lubricants.
The racing team declared new, more open regulations have allowed Toyota Racing to implement a major increase in hybrid power, with an AISIN AW motor-generator on the front axle added to compliment the DENSO unit on the rear.Under deceleration, the motor-generators apply braking force in combination with traditional mechanical brakes to harvest energy, which is transferred via inverter (AISIN AW at the front, DENSO at the rear) to the NISSHINBO super-capacitor. During acceleration, the motor/generator reverses its function, acting as a motor to deliver a power boost.
That four-wheel-drive hybrid power is combined to a normally-aspirated V8 engine. Both hybrid power and V8 engine have been developed by Motor Sports Unit Development Division at the Higashifuji technical centre where, said the company, next-generation Toyota road car technology is born.
Toyota added for this year’s racecar, particular attention has been paid to airflow, both to reduce drag in order to improve fuel economy and to increase downforce, and therefore grip, levels to compensate for tires which are 5 centimeters narrower compared to 2013.
For 2014, a slight reshuffle of the driver line-up sees Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima share the #7 car while Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi are in the #8.
Toyota said he TS040 HYBRID made its track debut at Paul Ricard on January 21 and has subsequently completed 12 days of testing across Europe, covering around 18,000 kilometers (11184.68 miles).
After the two-day Prologue test at Paul Ricard, which begins today March 28, the team plans one further session prior to the Six Hours of Silverstone where it will race manufacturer competitors Audi and Porsche for the first time this year.
2014 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar
Apr 20 Six Hours of Silverstone (GB)
May 3 Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Bel)
Jun 14 Le Mans 24 Hours (Fra)
Sep 20 Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas (USA)
Oct 12 Six Hours of Fuji (Jpn)
Nov 2 Six Hours of Shanghai (Chi)
Nov 15 Six Hours of Bahrain
Nov 30 Six Hours of Sao Paulo (Bra)