2012 Toyota Le Mans Hybrid


Toyota is all set to revolutionize Le Mans racing this year by introducing a new hybrid car to the series.

Dubbed the T030 hybrid, this monster marks the return of Toyota to Le Mans after more than a decade. It will be participating in FIA World Endurance Championship, plus the six hours of Spa and 24 hour of Le Mans. The new team, which is based at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany, will make its race debut on 5 May in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Toyota Racing intends to enter two TS030 HYBRID cars in the subsequent Le Mans 24 Hours. They have already announced the driver lineup for one car, with the other to be confirmed. Technical specs are  also yet to be confirmed, but this hybrid is the only car that can really challenge Audi’s diesel-powered cars.

2012 Toyota Le Mans Hybrid 2012 Toyota Le Mans Hybrid

Toyota press release:

A driver line-up of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima has already been confirmed for one car while discussions are still ongoing to finalise the driver line-up for the other. Additionally, Andrea Caldarelli, from Pescara, Italy, has joined Toyota Racing as a junior driver.

The TS030 HYBRID is Toyota’s successor to the iconic TS010 and TS020 cars which participated at Le Mans with podium success during the 1990s, with TS an acronym for ToyotaSport.

Toyota is the first manufacturer to confirm its participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship using a hybrid system, emphasising the pioneering approach to this technology which has seen more than 3.5 million Toyota hybrid vehicles sold worldwide.

The THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System – Racing) powertrain is designed to deliver maximum performance and features an all-new V8 3.4litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and hybrid system with capacitor storage developed by official team partner Nisshinbo.

The team will use the TS030 HYBRID’s first test to evaluate the merits, within the current regulations, of a front motor system produced by Aisin AW and a rear motor system developed by official team partner DENSO. Those regulations limit hybrid systems to recovering a maximum of 500kJ between braking zones whilst restricting deployment to only two wheels.

 

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