Toyota Gazoo Racing showcase the GR010 hybrid hypercar
Toyota Gazoo Racing has introduced its latest, arguably the most modern endurance racing weapon – the GR010 LMH Hybrid Hypercar. The prototype race car is based on the Toyota GR Super Sports that was revealed at the 2020 24 hours of Le Mans. The road going hypercar is yet to be revealed in all its glory, but Toyota Gazoo Racing have unveiled the car with which they will be entering the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which kicks off on March 19 with the 1000 Miles of Sebring.
Toyota Gazoo Racing will be competing in the inaugural LMH hypercar class category and to do so they have had to come up with an all-new contender that meets the regulations set for the class. Therefore, the GR010 Hybrid has been developed over a period of 18 months by the team’s engineers in Cologne, Germany and electric hybrid powertrain specialists at Higashi-Fuji in Japan. Balance of Performance (BoP) is one of the major rules in the regulations, designed to keep the competition between manufacturers fair and tight as possible. By the time a car has been built to meet the regulations, they end up becoming slower, heavier and less powerful than the LMP1 class but all the cars are closer to each other in terms of performance. And that’s what keeps the sport interesting.
The GR010 Hybrid gets an all-wheel drive system that is mated to a combination of a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 that drives the rear wheels and an electric motor that has been developed by AISIN AW and DENSO that sits on the front axle and drives the front wheels. The petrol engine is capable of 670.5bhp and the electric motor is good for 268bhp that should ideally give the GR010 a combined output of 938.5bhp. But with the new regulations the power is capped at 670.5bhp, meaning the electronics on the LMH car reduce the power of the petrol engine based on the amount of hybrid boost that is developed. The GR010 uses a seven-speed sequential gearbox. Courtesy regulations, it will be the first time that TGR (Toyota Gazoo Racing) Hybrid features a single motor generator unit (MGU) mounted on the front axle and none on the rear axle.
The GR010 Hybrid uses a carbon fibre composite body and gets independent front and rear double wishbone, push-rod style suspension. The brakes on offer are Akebono mono-bloc alloy calipers mounted on carbon ventilated discs. In terms of wheels, the GR010 uses 18-inch magnesium alloys shod in Michelin radial rubber. Due to cost-cutting initiatives that are implemented in the regulations, the GR010 Hybrid is 162kg heavier than the TS050 at 1040kg. The fuel capacity of the GR010 is 90 litres.
The GR010 features an all-new body and is inspired from the GR Super Sport hypercar. According to technical regulations, manufacturers competing in the Hypercar class are allowed a single homologated body work package with one moving aerodynamic device. Therefore, the team has developed the bodywork of the GR010 such that it performs optimally in both low and high downforce circuits. The rear wing is adjustable to help modify the aerodynamics to best suit the track. The top-class aerodynamics on the GR010 have been developed and tested using computational fluid dynamic software and wind tunnels. The bodywork is set up such to offer the best balance of performance and efficiency.
As mentioned earlier, the GR010 Hybrid will enter the 2021 FIA WEC and it will be interesting to see how the new car fares for TGR. Will it be another wonderchild and yield them the same success that the TS050 did? Only time will tell.