- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
Folks once scoffed at the idea of a hybrid race car, but with Toyota announcing its TS030 Hybrid car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Porsche already well on the hybrid race car bandwagon, it might not be too much of a stretch to believe these rumors that the Ferrari-powered, Pininfarina-designed P4/5 Competizione is going green.
The dominating diesels will have a fuel economy foe at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, thanks to a new hybrid race car from Toyota. Set to compete in the top-tier LMP1 class later this year, the first photos of the hybrid electric drive prototype have hit the net, thanks to a tweet by Toyota UK PR boss Scott Brownlee.
Racing a Prius might sound like the start of a joke, until you see this. Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, this Toyota Prius is fully prepped and sporting its race livery. Significantly wider and lower than a factor model, this Prius is designed to compete in Japan’s Super GT racing series starting this year.
The only Japanese manufacturer to ever win the prestigious 24-Hours of Le Mans so far has been Mazda with its 787B. Toyota has been wanting to change that for nearly two decades now. Their last effort in the LMP1 class failed, but next year they’ll be back with a vengeance, using a hybrid racer.
Developed for Formula 1000 rallying, the hybrid Insight race car was tuned to get 100mpg when pushed slowly, and 82mpg at a quicker pace. Formula 1000 emphasizes mileage as well as speed, and the Insight was regularly beating the next-best car, a diesel, by over 17mpg. Overall, it has dominated the current 2011 series with two wins and a second place in just the first three rounds. This, competitors whined, was an unfair advantage.
Whether you know Ken Block from his infamous Gymkhana videos, or his other antics, there’s no denying his penchant for causing a stir among automotive enthusiast. And this time he got a lot of people’s attention simply by posting a photo on his Facebook profile and adding this as its caption: “Testing one of my ‘secret projects’ in the UK right now, the “Hybrid”. Who says the word “hybrid” has to mean boring?”