This is the Toyota GR010 Hybrid, the car that the automaker will compete with in the newly-formed Le Mans Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship.
Powering the car is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, significantly larger than the 2.4-liter unit used by Toyota’s retired TS050 LMP1 car. Working alongside the internal combustion engine is a front-axle hybrid system that delivers 268 hp. Total power of the car is capped at 670 hp. To meet this cap on power, the GR010 Hybrid’s advanced electronics reduced engine power depending on how much hybrid boost is being deployed at any given time.
Toyota has been developing the car for the past 19 months at its racing team’s headquarters in Cologne, Germany, while also using electric hybrid powertrain experts at Higashi-Fuji in Japan.
Compared to the old TS050 LMP1 car, the GR010 Hybrid is 250 mm longer, 100 mm wider, and 100 mm higher. It also tips the scales at 1,040 kg (2,292 lbs), quite a bit more than the 878 kg (1,935 lbs) of the TS050. Teams competing in the Le Mans Hypercar class can only develop a single aerodynamic configuration that must work at both high- and low-downforce circuits. Only the rear wing is adjustable.
“There is a similar principle on the powertrain side as well, with a given power curve but a lot of freedom in terms of configuration,” chassis project leader at TGRE in Cologne, John Litjens said. “The biggest change for us here was to move to only a front motor generator unit. The packaging for the hybrid system was more challenging on this car because of updated safety standards. The combustion engine is a more powerful on the GR010 Hybrid compared to the TS050 Hybrid, so it is a very different car both in appearance and in how it sounds.”
The company’s driver line-up remains unchanged from the LMP1 program. As such, Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway, and Jose Maria Lopez will drive the #7 car while Sebastian Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Brendon Hartley will race the #8.