We've been hearing since the beginning of the year that Toyota may be considering entering the historic Le Mans 24 Hour race with a hybrid racer, possibly with a high-tech capacitor-based energy storage system. It's no secret that the Japanese giant is the undisputed leader in hybrid cars for the street, with its seminal Prius model the first machine most people think of when they hear the word hybrid. Could the hybrid powertrain be the next big thing in long-distance racing? It seems possible, with Peugeot also hard at work on a hybrid prototype for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Both Toyota and Peugeot could go head-to-head the same way that the French automaker went up against Audi's race-winning diesel racers. Current rumors point to a possible hybrid showdown in 2010, though Peugeot could unveil their model a bit earlier than that. Toyota last ran in the Le Mans race in 1999, finishing second.

[Source: Autoweek]

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