Le Mans... a heady mixture of history, speed and endurance The historic "24 Hours of Le Mans" is one of the world's most challenging auto races, and Toyota has never won it. Now they're charging - literally - back to Le Mans with an impressive hybrid racer... and the plan this time is to win!
Toyota Le Mans race car from 1999 The concurrent demands of speed and endurance have been the undoing of many a racing team at France's legendary auto race. You'd assume that this isn't the place to try out new technology. Yet Toyota is going against conventional wisdom by entering a very unconventional racer in the 2010 Le Mans race: a hybrid car that can be likened to a Prius on steroids!
Toyota Supra hybrid cruises to victory It seems somewhat of a crap-shoot for the leading Japanese automaker, having last contested Le Mans in 1999 and never having won the prestigious race. Company engineers, however, are straining at the bit after a hybrid-engine Toyota Supra handily won the Tokachi 24-hour race held on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.
The competition: Audi's turbo-diesel champions At Le Mans, however, Toyota will be competing with reliable, race-proven turbo diesel cars from Audi... consecutive winners of Le Mans in 2006 and 2007. Commenting on the competition, a Toyota official said that "Audi demonstrated the excellence of new generation diesel-powered cars through the Le Mans race. We want to do the same with our hybrid model."
Another 1999 Toyota Le Mans racer - "I'll be back!" Though exact specifications of the Le Mans racer and its hybrid powerplant have not been publicized, Toyota has said they will be fitting the cars with special capacitors and batteries in order to facilitate much faster power supply and charging functions compared to its road-going hybrid vehicles. Confidence is definitely NOT in short supply, however, as Toyota officials state they intend to win at Le Mans race in their first renewed attempt. (via Yomiuri News)
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