Toyota TS050 Hybrid
|Predecessor||Toyota TS040 Hybrid|
|Chassis||Carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Independent, double wishbone, pushrod-system|
|Suspension (rear)||Independent, double wishbone, pushrod-system|
|Engine||Toyota 2.4 L 90-degree V6 Twin-turbo mid, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||6-speed sequential manual|
|Power||368 kW (ICE) + 368 kW (electric motors)|
|Fuel||Shell V-Power, Esso and Mobil Synergy, and Total Excellium (since 2018)|
|Lubricants||Mobil 1, Total Quartz (since 2018)|
|Brakes||Carbon ventilated front and rear|
|Notable entrants||TOYOTA GAZOO Racing|
|Debut||2016 6 Hours of Silverstone|
|Constructors' Championships||1 (2018–19 FIA WEC)|
|Drivers' Championships||1 (2018–19 FIA WEC)|
The Toyota TS050 Hybrid is a racing car developed for the 2016 Le Mans Prototype rules in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The car is the direct successor of the Toyota TS040 Hybrid, which competed in both the 2014 and 2015 FIA WEC seasons. The TS050 was revealed at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 24 March 2016 due to Toyota's 2-year cycle policy. The engine is a biturbo gasoline 2.4L V6, while the two previous cars used a naturally aspirated gasoline V8. It features an 8 mega-joule hybrid system, which uses lithium ion batteries. Drivers that have tested the TS050 include Sam Bird, Thomas Laurent, Pipo Derani, Kenta Yamashita, Nyck De Vries and multiple Le Mans Winner Yannick Dalmas.
On 24 March 2016, Toyota publicly unveiled the TS050, ahead of the WEC Prologue, at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Compared to the previous car, the Toyota TS040 Hybrid, the car features a number of changes, with the naturally-aspirated 3.7-liter V8 engine being dropped, and replaced by a new 2.4L Twin-turbocharged V6 engine. In addition to this, the Capacitor Hybrid energy storage system has been dropped, and replaced with a new Lithium-ion battery, with the car now moving to the 8 Megajoule sub-class in LMP1-Hybrid. Initial photographs revealed that the car utilised suspension concept appearing similar to that previously used in the TS040, a double wishbone arrangement with pushrod actuated internal components paired with Torsion bars. Compared to the TS040, the nose was also raised, a trait shared with its rivals, the Audi R18, and the Porsche 919 Hybrid, which allowed for a large opening beneath the nose, and for elements to be placed to tune the airflow.
For the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, the TS050 underwent a substantial redesign, with majority of the previous years bodywork being heavily modified or removed, with the monocoque being the sole piece of bodywork which was carried over. In the front of the car, the nose was raised slightly, while the undercut was made into the sidepod of the car. Internally, the car also underwent changes, with the coolers being relocated and being raised, while the rear suspension layout was slightly modified. Due to new regulations in the championship aimed at reducing the speeds of the car, the front splitter was raised up by 15mm, while the rear diffuser was narrowed, while other regulations implemented as a form of cost control meant that only two aerodynamic configurations were introduced, down from the previous year's three.
The car featured a new 2.4L V6 Twin-Turbocharged Engine, replacing the previous year's design, while the previous year's 8 megajoule hybrid season was upgraded, and carried over to the new car. Toyota had reworked the block, head, and combustion chamber on the gas engine, to run allow for a higher compression ratio and to boost thermal efficiency of the engine.  The Hybrid system of the car was upgraded with smaller and lighter motor-generator units, whilst the Lithium-Ion battery pack was also modified.  Prior to the WEC Prologue Pre-season test, it was also revealed by Toyota that the car had undergone 30,000km in testing, consisting of five tests, at various circuits, including the Circuit Paul Ricard, Ciudad del Motor de Aragón, Algarve International Circuit. Of the 5 tests, four of these were revealed to be 30-hour endurance tests.
Toyota started the season with a second place and points finish at Silverstone, and followed up with a good performance at Spa Francorchamps only to have engine trouble hit both cars, later attributed to the unique forces applied whilst going through the infamous Eau Rouge corner.
2016 24 Hours of Le Mans
Toyota had a very strong race at Le Mans, qualifying 3rd and 4th behind the two Porsche 919 Hybrids. The cars worked their way into the lead, setting up what seemed like an inevitable victory, which would be the first for the manufacturer, following four previous 2nd place finishes in 1992, 1994, 1999, and 2013 . As the race drew to a close, the Toyota No.5 had a lead over the No.2 Porsche.
With 6:30 left, the gap between the lead No.5 Toyota and the No.2 Porsche was 1:14, with both cars on the lead lap. Delayed radio transmissions by Kazuki Nakajima revealed at about this time that the No.5 was experiencing a severe loss of power on acceleration, and this was evidenced by the No.2 rapidly catching it. With 4:30 to go, the gap had been reduced to 37.580 seconds, and Toyota had to decide whether to bring its car into the pits or to keep it on the race track. The team elected to keep the car on track, and Nakajima had to stop the car, but stopped it just after the start/finish line as the No.5 car's power gave out entirely, with 3:25 remaining on the clock. The No.2 Porsche passed it a few seconds later to claim the LMP1 and overall lead in what turned out to be the final lap of the race.
Nakajima held the No.5 car stationary just past the start/finish line until the 24 hour clock officially ran out, then pushed the car ahead at whatever speed it could manage to complete the last lap. Officially, it took the No.5 Toyota 11:53.815 to complete the final lap of the race, which is above the maximum allowed time of six minutes. This led to the No. 5 car not being classified in the race results and not earning any championship points.
For the first time since the team rejoined the race in 2012, Toyota announced that it would enter 3 cars at the 2017 Le Mans 24 hours. The third car would be driven by Toyota half-retiree Stéphane Sarrazin, Super Formula champion Yuji Kunimoto and returning after being dropped from the Toyota squad in 2014, Nicholas Lapierre.
On 15 June 2017, a TS050 driven by Kamui Kobayashi set a lap time of 3:14.791 during a qualifying session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is the fastest lap ever set at Circuit de la Sarthe since chicanes were added to the Mulsanne Straight in 1990.
Toyota came into the 2018–19 FIA World Endurance Championship season as the only LMP1 team with hybrid entries. After taking a one-two victory at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, they became the second Japanese car manufacturer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans after Mazda in 1991 with the Mazda 787B, Toyota scoring another 1-2 finish. In Silverstone, the Toyotas were disqualified after originally finishing 1-2. The team moved on to take 1-2 in Fuji and Shanghai.
Toyota dominating the 2019 half of Super Season by finishing 1-2 in Fuji, Shanghai, Sebring, and 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Complete World Endurance Championship results
Results in bold indicate pole position. Results in italics indicate fastest lap. Pink background indicates third manufacturer entry; manufacturer points only awarded at Le Mans.
|2016||Toyota Gazoo Racing||LMP1-H||SIL||SPA||LMN||NÜR||MEX||COA||FUJ||SHA||BHR||229†||3rd|
|2017||Toyota Gazoo Racing||LMP1||SIL||SPA||LMN||NÜR||MEX||COA||FUJ||SHA||BHR||286.51||2nd|
|José María López||23||3||4||4||2||4||4|
|José María López||Ret|
|2018–19||Toyota Gazoo Racing||LMP1||SPA||LMN||SIL||FUJ||SHA||SEB||SPA||LMN||2162||1st|
|José María López||2||2||DSQ||1||1||2||6||2|
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