There's a new season of motor racing upon us, and while that doesn't always mean a new crop of cars in every series, in the case of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, that's exactly what it means. Porsche recently revealed its new 919 Hybrid and Audi its revised R18 E-Tron Quattro. Now it's Toyota's turn.

Revealed today at the Paul Ricard test track in the South of France, the new TS040 Hybrid is based on the TS030 Hybrid it replaces, redesigned to meet the latest regulations established by the FIA and ACO for the World Endurance Championship and its flagship race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In accordance with said regulations, the TS040 is two inches narrower than the TS030 and also incorporates a new hybrid powertrain.

The previous 3.4-liter V8 has been replaced by a 3.7-liter V8 developing 513 horsepower, and the new engine is coupled to an Aisin AW electric motor at the front, a Denso electric motor at the rear and a Nisshinbo super-capacitor that combine to kick out an extra 473 hp, giving the system a combined output of nearly 1,000 horsepower while consuming 25 percent less fuel than last year's car. It also gives the TS040 all-wheel drive to help channel all that power to the road.

Toyota will field two TS040s in the WEC this season, with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima sharing car No. 7 and Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi in car No. 8. Following 12 days of testing across Europe, the TS040 starts a two-day test session at Paul Ricard today before making its race debut at the Six Hours of Silverstone in the UK on April 20. From there, the circus heads to Spa, Le Mans, Austin, Fuji, Shanghai, Bahrain and Sao Paulo. Check out the new race in our high-res image gallery above and the press release and pair of videos below for a closer look.




Mar. 27, 2014
New Era for Toyota Racing with TS040 Hybrid

Toyota Racing has today revealed the TS040 Hybrid car and revised driver line-up which will take it into the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, and into a new era of hybrid motorsport.

With 480 PS of four-wheel-drive hybrid boost in addition to the 520 PS 3.7 liter petrol engine, the TS040 Hybrid, launched today at Paul Ricard, has a maximum power of 1000 PS and represents 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.

The new Toyota Hybrid System - Racing powertrain has been developed specifically for the revised WEC technical regulations, which put a particular focus on fuel economy. A 25% reduction in fuel usage compared to 2013 is required, with savings achieved through powertrain, aerodynamics and driving style efficiencies.

A fuel flow metre 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 6 MJ of hybrid capacity per lap of Le Mans.

Working together with official partner TOTAL, Toyota Racing's engineers have found further efficiencies and performance through the use of specialist TOTAL lubricants.

The 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 480 PS power boost.

That four-wheel-drive hybrid power is allied to a normally-aspirated V8 engine, both having been developed by Motorsports Unit Development Division at the Higashifuji technical centre, where next-generation Toyota road car technology is born.

Know-how from the TS030 Hybrid is already in use to enhance Toyota's road car hybrids and the WEC's focus on road-relevant technology is expected to see further technology transfer from track to road. Toyota has already sold 6million hybrid road cars since the launch of the Prius in 1997.

The TS040 Hybrid chassis is designed, developed, manufactured, built and operated by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne. It represents a major evolution on the TS030 Hybrid and embraces regulation changes which see maximum width reduced by 10 cm and a series of safety items introduced.

Particular attention has been paid to airflow around the car, both to reduce drag in order to improve fuel economy and to increase downforce, and therefore grip, levels to compensate for tyres which are 5 cm narrower compared to 2013.

Extensive development in TMG's state-of-the-art wind tunnels has resulted in an aerodynamically-efficient design which is also incredibly lightweight thanks to advanced composite design and production processes

Intensive simulation and calculation work at TMG has refined the TS040 Hybrid, utilising hardware-in-the-loop technology to test individual components based on real track data and powerful calculation computers to optimise designs.

Such cutting-edge techniques are significantly more efficient than track testing, allowing TMG engineers to continue optimising all aspects of the TS040 Hybrid chassis and lay-out for longer than rivals relying on traditional methods.

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.

The TS040 Hybrid made its track debut at Paul Ricard on 21 January and has subsequently completed 12 days of testing across Europe, covering around 18,000 km.

After the two-day Prologue test at Paul Ricard, which begins tomorrow, the team plans one further session prior to the Six Hours of Silverstone when it will race manufacturer competitors Audi and Porsche for the first time this year.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: "We are very much looking forward to our third season in the FIA World Endurance Championship when we will fight to achieve our dream of winning Le Mans and the World Championship. As well as challenging new regulations which make endurance racing the most road-relevant discipline in top-level motorsport, we also have a new competitor. We are looking forward to competing with Porsche, as well as our more familiar rivals Audi. As a team 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. We consider it very important that our racing programme contributes to Toyota's wider activities and I am very proud that data, knowledge and technology pass regularly from our racing programme to our R&D colleagues, who are working to make great road cars of the future."

Hisatake Murata, General Manager, Motorsports Unit Development Division: "The Toyota Hybrid System - Racing has been significantly upgraded due to the challenge of new regulations. The regulations require a big reduction in fuel consumption but, to remain competitive, we of course want to retain engine power; it is not a realistic option to reduce consumption by reducing power. We looked at various possibilities but the most appropriate solution for us was to increase the displacement of the engine to improve heat efficiency whilst upgrading the hybrid system. We considered bigger hybrid capacity but settled on 6 MJ as anything greater, using kinetic energy recovery, had a negative effect on lap time due to increased weight. To recover that amount of energy under braking, the rear motor-generator was not enough so we returned to the four-wheel hybrid concept we developed from 2007 to 2011, before the regulations limited hybrid boost to just one axle. With 1000 PS we have achieved very impressive performance and kept the system within our weight targets. Now it's time to see what it can do against the competition."

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: "We started the initial studies and simulations immediately when the ACO announced the first elements of the regulations in mid-2012 and last season we devoted a lot of our available resources to developing the TS040 Hybrid. In terms of the aerodynamics and chassis concept, the TS040 Hybrid is a deep evolution of the TS030 Hybrid, taking into account the new dimensions as set by the regulations and implementing the lessons we learned in the last two years of WEC competition. New regulations always create a challenge and the obvious challenges for 2014 have been to change so many things at the same time, with significant regulation changes in terms of chassis and powertrain. The main challenge has been to create a more complex car with more hybrid hardware to achieve higher hybrid power and at the same time reduce significantly the weight due to a 45 kg reduction in minimum weight. That has been a real headache but using lightweight materials and efficient design optimisation processes, we have achieved our targets."

Driver comments previewing the TS040 Hybrid are issued in a separate press release which can also be found online at www.toyotahybridracing.com, where translations of this, and all, press releases can be found in French and German.

Copyright-free studio and action photos of the TS040 Hybrid are available for editorial usage in the media section of www.toyotahybridracing.com.

Full profiles of Toyota Racing's drivers, including career histories, are available here: http://goo.gl/VeuLyS

2014 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar:
20 April: Six Hours of Silverstone (GB)
3 May: Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Bel)
14 June: Le Mans 24 Hours (Fra)
20 September: Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas (USA)
12 October: Six Hours of Fuji (Jpn)
2 November: Six Hours of Shanghai (Chi)
15 November: Six Hours of Bahrain
30 November: Six Hours of Sao Paulo (Bra)

About Toyota Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
Toyota first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. Toyota cars have raced in 15 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on four occasions (1992, 1994, 1999 & 2013). Toyota entered the revived WEC in 2012, as Toyota Racing, with its first hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 Hybrid. That car competed for two seasons, winning five races. It was designed and built by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of Toyota's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of Toyota's TS020 Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines motorsport participation with work as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the Toyota family.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      SteveM
      • 8 Months Ago
      Anyone else surprised that on an Auto related "blog" website, at the time of my reading 320 people couldn't care less about who wins? I find this one of the most interesting racing types around.
        StephenT
        • 8 Months Ago
        @SteveM
        I think if another choice were added to the poll saying something similar to "not supporting a particular manufacturer" that it might reflect some different numbers. Because I don't really care which one of the three of them wins, I just want to see a great race. I watch every WEC race on the calendar and at least 19-20 hours of the LeMans 24hr race.
          johnnythemoney
          • 8 Months Ago
          @StephenT
          Still, I think you didn't go for "I couldn't care less right"?
      chlova05
      • 8 Months Ago
      I will definitely be rooting for Toyota since their technology would most likely be trickle down to the average consumer vs some top dollar limited production models.
      mbukukanyau
      • 8 Months Ago
      Instead of racing at this level, GM and Ford are being screwed by Nascar with the 'prototype BS' that is the daytona 'prototypes'.. They should enter this series with in-house developed machines. Or Just let their European Divisions spend the cash to race in this series. Man.. Daytona prototypes are fast, probably faster than these cars, but they are not as high tech
        GT_fan626
        • 8 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        What are you talking about? GM and Ford have IMSA aka Nascar to thank for their victories with their BoP's. Also do you honestly think DP's are faster than WEC LMP1's? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
        Justin L
        • 8 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        DPs are nowhere close to as fast as these cars. Maybe, maybe a bit of top end, but overall, not even close. Audi tested at Sebring prior to the 12H and its reported that they were multiple seconds faster than any lap that a DP put down.
          mbukukanyau
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Justin L
          Sports cars top speeds have a lot to do with racing rules. I know you know that.
        johnnythemoney
        • 8 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Daytona Prototypes are about as fast as P2 cars, P1s would crunch them. Besides, no one cares about Daytona Prototypes outside of the US. It's still good racing though.
      johnnythemoney
      • 8 Months Ago
      Right now 523 people couldn't care less. Seriously?! What are you interested then, slot cars? Or was it Nascar, I keep on mixing them...
      r67bennett
      • 8 Months Ago
      Toyota just needs determination and teamwork they have the best technology and resources in the world they just couldn't pull it off. Unfreakinbelievable
      xcatchmyshadowx
      • 8 Months Ago
      surely the ugliest one among the big 3 in le mans
        Josiah Beerle
        • 8 Months Ago
        @xcatchmyshadowx
        You must like the wide ugly noses of the Porsche and Audi then cus I fail to see how this car is the ugliest of the three it's actually the most attractive even though this ain't the final design
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 8 Months Ago
        @xcatchmyshadowx
        The flat face is kinda weird compared the last year's TS030.
      • 8 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      mbukukanyau
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sports cars top speeds have a lot to do with racing rules. I know you know that. The rules determine top speeds, aero packages etc. The V8 and Ford Ecoboost motors under hood are capable of well over 700 HP , 700 pound torques at full breathe, and full psi of supercharged power.. In the new racing rules even the amount of air these motors can take in is restricted. Top speed has never been North America's problem, or Technology. Its the Racing politics around Nascar, and team owners. That is why Panoz started ALMS.
      Ryan
      • 8 Months Ago
      Impressive powertrain however the front fenders on this car look ungainly and too upright. Aesthetically they are in a tough spot though since I consider the Toyota GT-One one of the prettiest GT1 cars of all time. Granted, aesthetics don't win races, but it wins the hearts of fans.
      xcatchmyshadowx
      • 8 Months Ago
      surely the ugliest one among the big 3 in le mans
      Josiah Beerle
      • 8 Months Ago
      Best looks out of the big 3 the skinnier nose is better looking than Audi and porches iteration of it
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