Toyota TS050 Hybrid unveiled

Ahead of the World Endurance Championship opener at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, Toyota unveils its brand new car, the TS050 Hybrid

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Given that it walked away from the 2014 World Endurance Championship season with both titles, 2015 was a serious misfire for Toyota. Bookending podiums in Silverstone and Bahrain were the highlights of a difficult year in which the outgoing TS040 was thoroughly outpaced.

No surprise then that for 2016, Toyota has redesigned ‘virtually everything’ on the brand new TS050 Hybrid, including the very concept of both its aerodynamics and the powertrain. Most significant is the new 2.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6, which replaces the outgoing naturally aspirated V8. Smaller in both stature and weight, the newly turbocharged 493bhp unit offers a faster development rate and more consistent peak efficiency over the outgoing V8, and also brings with it ‘significant torque increase.’ Energy storage has also been given a boost, Toyota ditching the supercapacitor energy-storage system it has used for the last three seasons in favour of lithium-ion batteries, a more efficient setup allowing the TS050 to compete in the top-tier 8MJ class in LMP1 alongside World Champions Porsche.

Though the biggest visual difference is the team’s new livery – a nod to its official ‘Toyota Gazoo Racing’ name change for 2016 – the aerodynamics have also been significantly revised. A more aggressive design, including an all-new front end, boasts better weight distribution with the front generator relocated behind the driving wheels and, theoretically, improved cornering capability thanks to heavily revised suspension.

Japanese Kamui Kobayashi steps into the driver fold alongside Mike Conway and Stéphane Sarrazin in the #6 car following the retirement of Alex Wurz, while the Anthony Davidson / Sébastien Buemi / Kazuki Nakajima line-up in #5 remains unchanged, albeit with some serious pressure to perform. Though keen to aid Toyota’s road car division with its hybrid development, team principal Toshio Sato’s edict is a simple one: “we must win again.” Given the work that’s gone into its newest challenger, anything less simply won’t be good enough.

Source – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing JP

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