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||7-speed (Le Mans); 6-speed (other circuits) sequential manual|
|Power||368 kW (ICE) + 368 kW (electric motors)|
|Fuel||Shell V-Power, Esso/Mobil Synergy race fuels (2016-2017) later Total (2018-present)|
|Brakes||Carbon ventilated front and rear|
|Notable entrants||Toyota Gazoo Racing|
|Debut||2016 6 Hours of Silverstone|
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 to the Toyota TS040 Hybrid, which competed in the 2014 and 2015 FIA WEC seasons. The TS050 was revealed at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the 24th March 2016 because of Toyota's 2-year cycle policy. The engine is a biturbo gasoline 2.4L V6, wherereas the two previous cars used a naturally aspirated gasoline V8. It features an 8 megajoule hybrid system, which uses lithium ion batteries.
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.
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.
- "TS050 HYBRID: NEW CAR, NEW CHALLENGE FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING". Toyota. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "Porsche wins Le Mans in dramatic fashion as Toyota falters". Associated Press. Le Mans: AP Sports. Associated Press. June 19, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- Freeman, Glenn (19 June 2016). "Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche snatches win amid heartbreak for Toyota". Autosport. Haymarket Press. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Watkins, Gary (2 February 2017). "Toyota expands to three cars for 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours". Autosport. Haymarket Press. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- Schrader, Stef (15 June 2017). "Toyota Just Set The Fastest Lap Ever At Le Mans". Jalopnik. Retrieved 6 May 2018.