That’s unfortunate, as the brand has some remarkable history in the Le Mans prototype division, and a monster 986-horsepower hybrid entry for this season in the form of the TS040. This gallery takes a bit of a look back at the cars that led to that nearly 1,000-horsepower racer.
Back in 1992, the TS010 was developed for endurance racing. Powered by a 3.5-liter V-10 engine, the TS010 had some initial teething problems with reliability, but eventually the team overcame them, and in 1993, piloted by Eddie Irvine, Toshio Suzuki, and Masanori Sekiya, the TS010 managed a fourth-place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toyota TS020Enlarge Photo
2013 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Le Mans prototypeEnlarge Photo
Now, the TS040 Hybrid moves the car and the Toyota Motorsports program into its next generation of prototype racing—and it is primed to be one of the most difficult yet. Can the team overcome its German adversaries to find victory—or at least a podium finish? Or will the TS040 fall prey to its own technological complexity and huge power output? That’s the challenge of endurance prototype racing, and it’s one we look forward to seeing play out over the course of the coming season.