2014 Toyota TS040 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype Revealed
Just a day out from the start of official testing for the 2014 World Endurance Championship, Toyota has taken the covers off its all-new TS040 Hybrid Le Mans prototype; the car it hopes will see it victorious, not only this season but at the event highlight, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The major departure in the design of the new TS040 compared to the previous TS030 Hybrid, is the addition of an electric motor on the front axle for the first time, making the car a ‘through-the-road’ all-wheel-drive hybrid, much like its Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Porsche 919 Hybrid rivals in the premier LMP1-H class.
While Audi uses a 4.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine in its prototype, and Porsche a turbocharged 2.0-liter V-4, Toyota is sticking with a good ol’ V-8 naturally aspirated to the tune of 513 horsepower. The engine works in conjunction with electric motor-generators at both axles that add an extra 473 horsepower, bringing the TS040’s maximum output to an incredible 986 horsepower.
The new powertrain has been developed in line with revised WEC technical regulations, which put an emphasis on fuel economy: teams are limited by the flow of fuel rather than the output of the powertrain or the efficiency of the aerodynamics. This makes the competition amongst engineers more interesting and presents teams with completely new challenges--now, the most efficient powertrain will be the most competitive.
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