Toyota's First Hybrid Le Mans Prototype Was The Coolest Sounding Race Car Of The Modern Era

Illustration for article titled Toyotas First Hybrid Le Mans Prototype Was The Coolest Sounding Race Car Of The Modern Era
Screenshot: Jon VD

This year Toyota capped off what looks like the end of the modern LMP1 era, from Audi vs everybody to Audi vs Peugeot to Audi vs Porsche to Porsche vs Toyota to Toyota vs itself. Among all of these vehicles, let’s remember the one that most sounded like a pod racer: the Toyota TS030.


The TS030 was a fast car that never quite held it together at Le Mans, running there in 2012 and 2013 before getting replace by the TS040 for the next two seasons. In the context of the current TS050 that won Le Mans this year, the TS030 is weird. The reigning victor is a turbo V6. Its TS030 grandpa ran a 3.4-liter naturally-aspirated V8 pulled from Toyota’s domestic Super GT series. The current car uses lithium-ion batteries. The TS030 used supercapacitors.


But what’s important to me is that the TS030 ran on electricity getting out of the pits before kicking on its gas-powered V8. The sound remains absolutely incredible, popping up on Reddit over the Le Mans weekend, years after I posted about it at the time it was new.


Watch closely and you’ll see that the sound shakes the camera recording this lip from testing. It’s so good.

I will miss a lot of things about LMP1 (while I cheer on our coming maybe-revival of GT1), but I think this noise will be what I miss the most.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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