It’s been over a decade since Toyota competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and when the Japanese auto giant returns next year to the world famous motorsports venue it will change the race forever. That’s because Toyota’s new race car will use a hybrid-electric drivetrain.
Set to compete in the top-tier LMP1 class that closed-cockpit racer will be built by Toyota Motorsport in Germany, while the engine will be built in Japan.
“Toyota has entered Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge,” said Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motorsport Chairman. “We want to write a new chapter in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours… through our use of hybrid technology.”
In addition Toyota will compete with the new hybrid racer in other races next year in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Two years later in 2014 Porsche will enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans and it is believed its new LMP1 race car will also be a hybrid.