TOYOTA GAZOO Racing revealed the all-new TS050 HYBRID, the car which will carry its hopes into a new season of World Endurance Championship (WEC) competition. Following a difficult defence of its World Championship titles in 2015, TOYOTA has set itself tough performance targets in order to compete once again at the front of a fiercely-competitive WEC field, featuring fellow LMP1-Hybrid manufacturers Porsche and Audi.
It features a significant change in powertrain concept. A 2.4litre, twin-turbo, direct injection V6 petrol engine is combined with an 8MJ hybrid system, both of which are developed by Motor Sport Unit Development Division at Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre.
A new generation turbo engine with direct injection is better suited to the current regulations which limit fuel flow to the engine, and provides opportunity to continue technology and knowledge transfer from the track to road cars. Like TOYOTA road cars, the front and rear motor-generators recover energy under braking, storing it in a high-powered lithium-ion battery and releasing it as boost for maximum efficiency. The change from super capacitor to battery storage allows the TS050 HYBRID to move up to the more-powerful 8MJ hybrid class.
The TS040 HYBRID was already used as a rolling test bench and contributed to current road cars. With turbo engines increasingly in use on the road, TOYOTA expects to use the technology and know-how from WEC to make ever-better road cars.
A new powertrain concept brings different cooling and packaging demands, including an updated transmission to handle the significant increase in torque delivered by the turbo engine. Combined with a new aerodynamic concept, that means virtually every part on the TS050 HYBRID chassis has been redesigned by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany.
Powertrain components have played their part too in the improved aerodynamic performance of the TS050 HYBRID; by relocating the front motor-generator unit, better under-floor air flow has been achieved which will contribute to overall performance. Suspension kinematics have also been revised to optimise tyre wear.
The team, which includes several new faces, has already been busy testing the TS050 HYBRID, striving for performance and reliability, covering over 22,000km with positive results. The next test comes at Paul Ricard on 25-26 March, while the nine-race WEC season kicks off at Silverstone on 17 April.
2016 World Endurance Championship Calendar
17 April 6 Hours of Silverstone (Gbr)
07 May 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Bel)
18 June 24 Hours of Le Mans (Fra)
24 July 6 Hours of Nürburgring (Deu)
03 September 6 Hours of Mexico (Mex)
17 September 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas (USA)
16 October 6 Hours of Fuji (Jpn)
06 November 6 Hours of Shanghai (Chn)
19 November 6 Hours of Bahrain (Bhr)