TOYOTA became the first Japanese company to win the World Championship during a very successful 2014 season, which saw Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi also win the drivers’ title.
In a period where energy efficiency is a key performance factor, the TS040 HYBRID proved to be the class of the field, taking five wins from eight races.
The championship-winning car has been updated for 2015, with updated aerodynamics, revised front end including crash structure and new suspension kinematics to optimize tyre usage, plus additional weight saving.
The TS040 HYBRID will again benefit from the proven TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing powertrain, which boasts excellent thermal efficiency and delivers a total maximum power of over 1,000PS.
As with last season, the TS040 HYBRID will compete within the 6MJ hybrid category with enhancements, such as modifications to the super capacitor construction to increase performance.
The team has prepared two different aerodynamic packages for this season, both of which will be tested at Paul Ricard this week. The Le Mans option is better suited to the high-speed La Sarthe track while the sprint package generates higher levels of downforce due to revisions on the rear wing, engine cover and front bodywork.
Development began directly after last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and the updated car was tested for the first time on 13 January at Paul Ricard. Further three-day tests at Motorland Aragon (twice) and Portimao mean the 2015 TS040 HYBRID has completed over 25,000km prior to today’s official launch.
Hisatake Murata, General Manager, Motor Sports Unit Development Division: “We have put huge effort into upgrading the whole car, including the powertrain, where we have made improvements in most areas. This means that total maximum power is over 1,000PS and the performance of the powertrain has been considerably enhanced. Our development means we will achieve the maximum hybrid energy more consistently than last season. Therefore we fully expect to see a performance improvement from the hybrid system, especially over race distances, and at every circuit. Our 2015 upgrades are another step towards producing ever-better hybrid cars and, once again, components and techniques from the TS040 HYBRID will be utilised to improve TOYOTA road cars.”
Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “The regulations have been essentially stable so there was no reason to review completely our concept, considering our performance throughout 2014. So the updated car is no revolution but it’s an evolution almost everywhere. It looks like it is from the same family; nevertheless we have redesigned roughly 80% of the parts. Again this season we will have high and low downforce packages, for the usual reason that Le Mans has very different requirements compared to most other tracks. The current regulations favour more subtle changes between these packages to keep the drag reasonably low, such as modifications to the rear wing, engine cover and front end. So far we are satisfied with our progress during the ‘one-car race’ that is testing. Now we have a few weeks remaining to get ready for the serious business of racing.”