Toyota TS040 Le Mans Hybrid Racer Teased

toyota-ts040-1Even though the 24 Hours of Le Mans is still months away, automakers and racing teams are already gearing up for the world’s oldest endurance race. Toyota has released teaser pics for their upgraded Le Mans hybrid race car, now called the TS040. While details are few and far between, Toyota has revealed one big change that will help it keep pace with its rivals.

That big change is the addition of an electric motor to the front axle, giving the TS040 all-wheel drive traction, an advantage cars like the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro enjoyed over the older TS030. Toyota is keeping the gasoline-electric hybrid, but the switch from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive should help drivers of the TS040 keep up, especially in the corners.

Toyota is deviating from rivals Porsche and Audi by sticking with a larger V8 engine. Conversely, Audi is using a six-cylinder turbodiesel with a new hybrid system, while Porsche will be pitting a four-cylinder engine against competitors. We won’t see how the V8-powered Toyota TS040 fairs against the wide variety of vehicles that will be competing for the checked flag until the end of March, when it makes its world debut at a practice session.

For now, all we have is are tgese teaser pics, speculation, and a little bit of hope.I’m ready for anyone to knock Audi off, if only for the sake of variety. So why not Toyota?

 

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.