The recent World Endurance Championship season has not been going well for Toyota as although they won the 2014 WEC Manufacturers’ Championship, they did not managed to bag a single victory in 2015. But quitting is never in Toyota’s nature and the Japanese auto giant is back with their new TS050 Hybrid to challenge Porsche and Audi in the LMP1 category.
Unlike the previous TS040 which houses a 3.7-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine, Toyota decided to go with fewer cylinders this time and had put in a twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter V6 engine instead. Motor-generators can still be found at the front and rear, but a lithium-ion battery stores the energy instead of super capacitors.
The TS050 now competes in the 8 megajoule hybrid class, compared to the previous six. It now has a combined output of 986-horsepower where 493-horsepower comes from the V6, and the rest from the hybrid system. Toyota had also developed an updated seven-speed gearbox that can cope with the extra torque from this new engine.
With a new drivetrain in place, the new racecar features updated aero such as the wider gaps in the front end to improve airflow for the cooling. These changes also allowed the engineers to move the front motor-generator, granting better aerodynamics underneath the car.
The 2016 FIA WEC season will start at the Six Hours of Silverstone on April 17. How will Toyota’s new TS050 perform? Only time will tell.