Toyota TS040 Hybrid Breaks Cover - The 1,000 HP Monster

Promising to further push the limits of hybrid technology in motorsports, Toyota just pulled the wraps off its new TS040 Hybrid LMP1 racecar today. It’s lighter, has a classy front end and it’s a lot more powerful.
Toyota TS040 Hybrid Reveled 1 photo
Photo: Toyota/edited by autoevolution
Gaining inspiration from the legendary Toyota Supra HV-R all-wheel-drive hybrid racecar that won the Tokachi 24 Hours in 2007, the new TS040 Hybrid also promises to share its powertrain secrets with road going cars too, according to race team chief Yoshiaki Kinoshita.

"We are competing in order to test the latest hybrid technology in the most extreme motorsport environments, and this has a direct influence on future road-car technology," Mr Kinoshita said.

Starting with the outer shell, the engineers were extremely concentrated on the car’s surrounding airflow. The front end got resculpted, with the two ‘humps’ being a bit wider and shorter compared to the TS030, the three-piece headlamps are bigger, the profile appears to be sleeker, the big fin has been improved, tires are 50 mm narrower and there are a lot more other portions that got remodeled to offer less drag and more downforce. The whole car is now 100 mm narrower and 45 kilos lighter thanks to extensive use of advanced composite materials.

Next comes the powertrain, which is described as being the most advanced hybrid in racing, offering a maximum power boost of more than 18% while complying with the new regulations that cut fuel use by 25%.

Similar to the four-wheel-drive Supra HV-R, the new TS040 Hybrid is now a 4x4 thanks to another electric motor mounted on the front axle. Total output gained well over 100kW (136 hp), now reaching a peak of 735 kW (1,000 hp) combining the two motors and a larger-capacity 3.7-liter V8 gasoline engine, 300 cc more than the V8 in the TS030 Hybrid.

The extra motor in the front also enables the car to recover more energy when braking, filling up the super-capacitor faster and benefiting of a total of 353 kW (480 hp) boost when accelerating, from which we understand that the new V8 makes 520 hp. However, due to regulations, the four-wheel-drive system will be available only after reaching 120 km/h.

Changes have also been made regarding the two teams, with Stephane Sarrazin joining Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima in the No.7 car, while Nicolas Lapierre switches to the No.8 along with Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi.

The new TS040 Hybrid recently completed 12 days of testing across Europe, covering around 18,000 km and the team plans one further test session before the Six Hours of Silverstone on April 20th.

Although the TS040 promises to come with the most advanced hybrid in racing history, and maybe more power than its competitors, our question is, will it break down as many times as last year?

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