Motorsports

Published on November 3rd, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Toyota confirms Hypercar for FIA World Endurance Championship 2020

Toyota has extended its involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship, confirming that it will compete in the Hypercar class.

The announcement, made in June this year at the Le Mans, follows official confirmation of the new top-class regulations by the FIA and ACO, which will debut in the 2020-21 WEC season.

The Japanese manufacturer’s commitment, as expected, will see the debut of a hybrid-powered car with its existing Cologne-based Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 outfit.

The prototype-based hypercar will be developed alongside the GR Super Sport road car, with both road and race versions currently undergoing design and development at Toyota City, Higashi-Fuji and Cologne.

The Toyota TS050 Hybrid, meanwhile, will be retired following the end of the 2019-20 season.

The new car’s name will be revealed at a later date, and track testing will begin in 2020 prior to the start of the 2020-21 season in summer/fall.

Additional details of the GR Super Sport road car will be released at a later date, according to Toyota.

“I am pleased to confirm that Toyota Gazoo Racing will continue its challenge in endurance racing beyond the current regulations,” commented Gazoo Racing company president Shigeki Tomoyama.

“Thank you to the ACO and FIA for their hard work in finalising these regulations, which we hope will bring about a new golden age of endurance racing, with several manufacturers fighting for Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“For Toyota Gazoo Racing, this new era of competition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our credentials not only as a race team against some of the best in the business, but also as a sports car manufacturer.

“I am sure I join fans and competitors in welcoming the new regulations and looking forward to an exciting era of competition in WEC and at Le Mans.”

Toyota had been one of six manufacturers involved in technical working groups to define the new regulations, which has seen multiple revisions since its initial announcement at Le Mans last year.

The new hypercar class, according to the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), is based on the car industry’s development of exotic road-going supercars, such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

To be eligible for inclusion in the WEC Hypercar class, a manufacturer must produce at least 20 units of the particular model in a calendar year, the FIA said.

For WEC competition, hypercars will have a minimum curb weight of 1,100 kg and have a rated powertrain average total output of 550 kW (750 hp). If a manufacturer opts for a hybrid powertrain, the output of the hybrid powerplant is limited to 200 kW (270 hp).

For models based on road-legal hypercars, the hybrid powerplant can be used for all four wheels whereas it must be limited to the front wheels in a prototype design.

These regulations are designed to create a top class with a level playing field and limited impact of the budget on the performance to encourage teams to run two cars in a full FIA WEC season over a five-year campaign, the FIA said.

Thus far only Toyota Motor Co. and Aston Martin have committed to the Hypercar class, starting in the 2020-21 season.

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