Toyota Le Mans Hybrid Prototype: First Photos

Illustration for article titled Toyota Le Mans Hybrid Prototype: First Photos

Audi may have diesel, guaranteeing it victory after victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but you know what Toyota has? No, not old people. No, not beige, take this seriously. No, unintended acceleration won't win races. Toyota has a hybrid! Maybe that's why Peugeot surrendered.


These are the first pictures of Toyota's new hybrid Le Mans racer, tweeted this morning by company PR man Scott Brownlee.

The ‘Yota can be seen wearing a distinctly Audi R18 TDI-like aero kit, complete with the exaggerated roof fin. Like that car, the emphasis is on efficiency in addition to speed.

"Toyota Motor Corporation has entered Le Mans before but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge," stated Toyota Motorsports chairman Tadashi Yamashina last year. It's expected that lessons learned on-track will inform future development of the company's gasoline/electric hybrid technology.

Illustration for article titled Toyota Le Mans Hybrid Prototype: First Photos

Details of the powertrain aren't immediately available, nor is it clear what, if any, advantages the configuration may have over the more popular diesel (and the rumored Audi R18 Hybrid), other than market acceptance in the US of course.


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This car brings LeMans one step closer to being completely neutered. What have we come to when endurance racing becomes a fuel mileage competition? The glorious wails of high-revving, massively overpowered prototypes have been replaced with the sooty clatter of diesel engines and electronic whirlygigs.