Toyota Racing revealed the first details of its new TS040 Hybrid racecar. According to Toyota, the new TS040 HYBRID prototype was designed following the new regulations intended to keep the WEC and Le Mans at the forefront of road-relevant technology development. Set to make its first public appearance at the WEC and Le Mans at the forefront of road-relevant technology development, the new TS040 HYBRID is the successor of the TS030 HYBRID.
What’s new? Well, Toyota added an Aisin AW motor/generator on the front axle, in combination with the DENSO unit at the rear. As a result, the Toyota HYBRID System –Racing now provides power to all four wheels, just like its main rival, the Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro a.k.a. the winner of the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race.
Just like any other hybrid racing car, under deceleration, the motor/generators apply braking force in combination with traditional mechanical brakes to generate energy. This energy is transferred via a Denso inverter to the Nisshinbo super-capacitor. Moreover, the energy is used during acceleration, when the motor/generator reverses its function, acting as a motor to deliver a significant power boost.
Just like the TS030 Hybrid, the new TS040 Hybrid racing car also carries a petrol-powered V8 engine developed by Motor Sports Unit Development Division at the Higashifuji technical centre. The TS040 HYBRID chassis is designed, developed, manufactured, built and operated by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne. THe new regulations also made the 2014-generation LMP1 cars narrower by 10 cm while measures such as wheel tethers and a rear crash box have further increased safety.