TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID:
EFFICIENCY TAKEN TO EXTREMES
The TS050 Hybrid is a prototype that is competing in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). As the pinnacle of endurance racing, it is the ultimate benchmark in testing cars in terms of durability and efficiency.
With a rear-mounted, twin-turbo 2.4-litre V6 engine, the TS050 features an 8 megajoule hybrid system. Two electric motors power the front and rear wheels respectively. Energy is drawn from the engine as well as recovered under braking, stored in a lithium-ion battery – an upgrade from the previous iteration which used a supercapacitor. This switch enables it to achieve a combined peak output of 1000PS.
Having that kind of power influences the car’s exterior look. More gaps were opened at the front to facilitate cooling the powertrain, which led to relocating the motor generator, which then required a redesign of the underbody for efficient airflow. The result is an entirely new aerodynamic structure, optimised for downforce to keep the car truly grounded. Following all this is further enhancements to the transmission to handle the extra torque, and a revised suspension setup to reduce tyre wear – and consequently, pit stop time.
There’s no denying that the TS050 Hybrid is an ingenious feat of engineering. And to look at it from outside the racing world, it’s a prime example of serious research and development. The kind that goes on in Toyota, in our eternal pursuit of progress.
Read more about the TS050 Hybrid here.