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WATCH | Toyota Gazoo Racing unveils its new GR010 hypercar

WATCH | Toyota Gazoo Racing unveils its new GR010 hypercar

The Toyota Gazoo Racing team has finally pulled the wraps off its new GR010 Hybrid hypercar that will compete in the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Developed over the past 18 months by engineers at the team’s headquarters in Cologne, Germany, and the electric hybrid powertrain experts at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji technical centre in Japan, the GR010 incorporates a powerful four-wheel-drive racing hybrid powertrain, with a 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo engine, providing 500kW to the rear wheels and combining with a 200kW motor generator unit, developed by Aisin AW and Denso, on the front axle. Total output is capped at 500kW, meaning the GR010 Hybrid’s sophisticated electronics reduce engine power according to the amount of hybrid boost deployed.

The menacing new look of this radical new racing prototype reflects the appearance of its inspiration, the GR Super Sport hypercar, which made its public debut with a demonstration run at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours and is currently in development.

“The GR010 Hybrid is a preview of our road-going cars,” said team president Hisatake Murata.

“What we learn on the WEC racetracks will directly benefit our customers.”

As part of cost-cutting initiatives incorporated in WEC regulations, the GR010 Hybrid is 162kg heavier and has 32% less power than its TS050 predecessor, with Le Mans lap times expected to be around 10 seconds slower. It also has larger dimensions. Take out your tape measure and you'll find it is 250mm longer, 100mm wider and 100mm higher.

What’s also interesting is that for the first time since the beginning of its WEC project in 2012, Toyota Gazoo Racing will participate without a rear motor generator unit (MGU), with the single permitted MGU located on the front axle. This means a starter motor and fully hydraulic rear brakes must be fitted to the GR010 Hybrid.

The new racer features state-of-the-art aerodynamics, optimised for efficiency, and developed using powerful Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and wind tunnel testing. The new technical regulations permit only a single homologated bodywork package, with only one adjustable aerodynamic device. The GR010 Hybrid will therefore compete in the same specification at both low and high downforce circuits, with an adjustable rear wing modifying the aerodynamic characteristics.

For the first time, the top class of WEC and Le Mans will feature a balance of performance, allowing organisers to modify the performance of each car in a bid to ensure identical performance potential from each Le Mans Hypercar. That should ensure close racing between GR010 and its competitors.

Those battles will be fought over six races on three continents, beginning with the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 19 prior to the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 1 and the season highlight, the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 12 and 13. The first world championship endurance race in Monza since 1992 takes place on July 18 before trips to Fuji Speedway on September 26 and Bahrain on November 20, all of which are six-hour contests.