Watch The 2017 Toyota TS050 Le Mans Prototype Run at Monza
The automaker is more serious about winning the series than ever before.
The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans left Toyota gut-wrenched after their loss to Porsche in the closing moments of the race. After gaining a sizable lead on the rest of the LMP1 class, Toyota suffered engine problems that caused them to stall on the start-finish straight, allowing the Porsche 919 to swoop by and pick up the victory. Toyota has had that on their heavy hearts ever since, and they look to come back even stronger in 2017. The team has been part of testing at the Monza circuit leading up to the start of this year's series, and the TS050 Hybrid looks to be in race-winning shape.
As the LMP1 class is exceedingly inventive, Toyota has developed their car to combine the 2.4L twin turbo V6 with a BML hybrid powertrain system for top-tier power. This allows them to match the prowess of this year's Porsche team who recently unveiled their 919 Hybrid, the car that is once again Toyota's strongest competitor. Although the engine features the same displacement as last year's model, it has been gone through from the block up. Once paired with the 8-megajoule electric powertrain, the automaker hopes that it will produce major oomph along with an even more essential attribute -- reliability.
The TS050's body has also been reshaped to fit this year's regulations aimed at making the cars safer and, sadly, slower. The car you see here features the low downforce package geared towards higher speed tracks where as it will be fitted with a high downforce package on more intricate circuits.
Past F1 drivers Kamui Kobayashi, Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, and Kazuki Nakajimi will man the helm for Toyota in 2017. With Audi out of the running, they're dead set on taking Porsche off their throne and winning the legendary race. From the looks of this video, the car certainly seems to be up to the task.
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