Toyota unveils twin-turbo V6 GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar for 2021 WEC

Toyota has officially revealed its Le Mans Hypercar which will be powered by an all-new twin-turbo V6 engine when it competes in the World Endurance Championship this season

Toyota unveils twin-turbo V6 GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar for 2021 WEC

The Toyota GR010 HYBRID was unveiled on Thursday and features a 3.5-litre internal combustion engine which is significantly bigger in displacement than its predecessor in the TS050 LMP1 car.

The Japanese marque also confirmed it will defend its WEC drivers' and manufacturers' titles, as well as its Le Mans crown, with an unchanged driver line-up.

Reigning champions Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez will again drive Toyota's #7 entry, while 2020 Le Mans winners Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley will race the #8 GR010. Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries will continue as test and reserve driver.

The car was launched in its official livery - after the first images of it in a testing paint scheme were revealed earlier this week - in which it will contest the six-round WEC in 2021, with the first round at Sebring on 19 March.

John Litjens, chassis project leader at TGRE in Cologne, explained that the new LMH regulations meant there is "more freedom allowed for the bodywork shapes and concepts" and that "you can see the result of this freedom clearly on the GR010 HYBRID".

"There is a similar principle on the powertrain side as well, with a given power curve but a lot of freedom in terms of configuration," he said.

"The biggest change for us here was to move to only a front motor generator unit.

"The packaging for the hybrid system was more challenging on this car because of updated safety standards.

"The combustion engine is more powerful on the GR010 HYBRID compared to the TS050 HYBRID, so it is a very different car both in appearance and in how it sounds."

The increase from the 2.4 litres of the previous V6 introduced with the TS050 HYBRID in 2016 reflects changes in the WEC technical regulations with the arrival of the LMH class for the coming season.

The new rules set a maximum power output of 670bhp (500kW), a figure that includes the boost from the single front-axle hybrid system allowed, which can produce up to 268bhp (200kW).

The 2.4-litre V6 of the TS050 was rated at approximately 500bhp, a figure that was nearly doubled when the twin hybrid systems on the front and rear axles were at full boost.

The new car's electronics reduce the power of the direct-injection V6 developed in Japan at Toyota's Higashi-Fuji technical centre according to the amount of hybrid boost deployed.

The new GR010 is significantly bigger than its predecessor, with it being 250mm longer, 100mm wider and 100mm higher.

The car is also heavier as per the regulations and weighs 1040kg compared with the 878kg base weight for hybrids under the LMP1 rules.

A single aerodynamic configuration, with only one adjustable aerodynamic device, is allowed under the new rules as part of the drive to reduce costs.

That means the GR010 will race in the same specification at high- and low-downforce tracks, with an adjustable rear wing modifying its aerodynamic characteristics.

Toyota had planned to undertake a third test with the GR010 at the Aragon circuit this week, but this has been aborted due to snow.

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Series WEC
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Gary Watkins
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