Toyota reveals new Le Mans car
.What do we know about Toyota’s new Le Mans entry?
Toyota announced in late 2011 that it would be entering the 2012 Le Mans 24hrs, and a select number of other endurance races. Toyota Motorsport GmbH, based in Cologne, Germany, has designed, developed and built the LMP1-spec chassis, and the petrol-hybrid powertrain is being produced by Toyota in Japan.
Toyota has chosen a closed-cockpit design for its new racer (Audi switched to a closed-cockpit design last year, while Aston Martin’s massively uncompetitive AMR-One went the other way) and the huge ‘shark fin’ stretching from the cockpit back to the rear wing is mandated by race regulations and is an attempt to stop the cars flipping during high-speed spins.
Toyota hasn’t yet revealed the exact specifications of its hybrid powertrain, but the race regulations limit naturally aspirated petrol engines to a maximum capacity of 3400cc, while forced induction engines are set to a 2000cc maximum – turbodiesels are set to 3700cc. All vehicles must weight at least 900kg whatever their choice of fuel, and petrol-hybrid racers have a maximum fuel tank capacity of 73 litres (it's 75 for petrol cars, 65 for diesels, and 71 for diesel hybrids).
The 80th running of the Le Mans 24hrs is 16-17 June 2012.