02_TMG_TS050

Toyota encountered a rough World Endurance Championship season last year – it failed to defend both drivers’ and constructors’ titles, finishing fifth and third respectively. The world’s largest carmaker responded by introducing a completely new LMP1 racer, the Toyota TS050 Hybrid, for the 2016 season.

After four seasons competing with naturally-aspirated V8s, the team is ditching them in favour of a 2.4 litre direct-injected V6 petrol engine. Toyota says the new powertrain was necessary due to new regulations which limit fuel flow into the engine, and that it “provides opportunity to continue technology and knowledge transfer from the track to road cars,” as such an engine is increasingly being used in road cars.

The super capacitors that powered the twin electric motors of last year’s TS040 have also been dropped, replaced by a lithium-ion battery. This enables the team to switch to an eight megajoule hybrid system, the highest spec permitted under the regulations. No power figure have been released, but expect the TS050 to deliver around the same amount (1,000 hp) as the outgoing racer.

08_TMG_TS050

Different cooling and packaging solutions were required due to the new powertrain, including an updated transmission to handle the extra torque from the turbo engine. The aerodynamic package was also redesigned, with the front motor-generator unit relocated for better underfloor airflow, improving overall performance. Revisions have also been made to suspension kinematics to optimise tyre wear.

The TS050 has already gone through over 22,000 km in performance and reliability testing with “positive results;” the next test session will be at Paul Ricard this weekend. The WEC season proper kicks off with the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 17.