Toyota has launched its new LMP1 challenger designed to propel the Japanese manufacturer back to the front of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
After a difficult 2015 campaign which saw the TS040 struggle to compete with Porsche and Audi, Toyota has made significant changes to its new-for-2016 TS050.
This year Toyota has ditched its naturally aspirated V8 engine in favour of a 2.4 litre direct injection V6 twin turbo power plant.
The manufacturer claims the switch to a turbo engine is better suited to the new WEC regulations which limit fuel flow to the engine.
Toyota will also move up to the 8MJ class following a change of hybrid system, with a battery storage concept replacing the super capacitor used last season.
The TS050 chassis has undergone a complete redesign compared to its predecessor, while the transmission has been upgraded alongside a new aerodynamic approach.
“This is a very exciting season for Toyota Gazoo Racing, particularly because we have a completely new car with a new powertrain concept,” said Team President, Toshio Sato,
“This reflects the current trend in road cars and gives us more opportunities to transfer know-how and technology into Toyota’s road car developments.
“Our WEC activities are motivated by the development of technology and people; we are already seeing the results of our activities in current road cars.
“But as well as helping Toyota to make ever-better cars, we also want to win.
“Our clear target this year is to compete again at the front, after a very disappointing 2015 season.
“In Higashi-Fuji and Cologne, there has been a huge effort to prepare for this season; everyone is highly motivated and pushing together to get back onto the centre of the podium.”
Toyota will field two TS050 LMP1 entries with the #5 piloted by Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima.
Former Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi will join Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin in the #6 car.
Toyota’s TS050 will join Porsche and Audi at the FIA WEC prologue at France’s Paul Ricard circuit on Friday and Saturday.