Toyota has already proven the capability of its hybrid racing technology, winning the Tokachi 24-Hour Race last year in Japan with its Supra HV-R hybrid race car, so now the carmaker wants to take it up a notch by entering a new green machine in the international Le Mans 24 hour event. According to latest reports Toyota is currently developing a car for the race and is aiming to earn its first victory in the competition with the new car.

Officials want to boost the image of hybrid technology, especially in Europe where it’s still largely considered a gimmick for environmentalists, reports Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun. "Audi proved the superiority of the next generation diesel engine at Le Mans. Toyota wants to do the same with the hybrid," an unnamed Toyota official told the newspaper. The biggest problem facing Toyota’s engineers is reducing the weight of the drivetrain and increasing efficiency.

Toyota hasn’t competed in the French event since 1999, when its GT1 race car (pictured) came close to coming in second but was forced to retire due to gearbox problems.