TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, partnered by Acronis, has revealed the GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercar that will compete in the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The team signed off competition last season with overall victory in the 2020 championship with the TS050 HYBRID as well as taking its third victory in the LMP1 class at Le Mans. Now, the reigning World Champions using a racing version of the upcoming hypercar road car, featuring powertrain technology developed in the TS050 HYBRID.
“It is a fascinating time for endurance racing, with the new Le Mans Hypercar class, and also for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, with the launch of the GR010 HYBRID,” commented Hisatake Murata, Team President. “This car represents our next generation of racing hybrid. During our LMP1 era, since 2012, we worked tirelessly to improve and strengthen our hybrid technology for racing.
“We set new standards with the TS050 HYBRID and our first loop of racing hybrid development is complete; this technology will be available to our future customers soon. Now the second stage will begin. Through our WEC participation, we will refine our racing hybrid powertrain in the GR010 HYBRID, enhance our understanding of hypercar technology and continually develop our staff. We do this with one clear goal: to deliver more exciting sportscars to our customers in the future.
“The GR010 HYBRID is a preview of our road-going cars and what we learn on the WEC race tracks will directly benefit our customers. For this reason, we are delighted to welcome new competitors to the top category of WEC; a tough fight on the track will inspire us to continuously improve and push the limits for better.”
The GR010 HYBRID is indeed a revolutionary machine, incorporating a powerful four-wheel drive racing hybrid powertrain, with a 3.5litre V6 twin turbo engine, providing 680PS to the rear wheels and combining with a 272PS motor generator unit, developed by AISIN AW and DENSO, on the front axle. Total output is capped at 500kW (680PS), meaning the GR010 HYBRID’s sophisticated electronics reduce engine power according to the amount of hybrid boost deployed.
As part of a cost-cutting initiative incorporated in the regulations, the new GR010 HYBRID is 162kg heavier and with 32% less power than its TS050 HYBRID predecessor, with Le Mans lap times expected to be around 10secs slower. It also has bigger dimensions; it is 250mm longer, 100mm wider and 100mm higher.
For the first time since the beginning of its WEC project, 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 must be fitted on the GR010 HYBRID while fully hydraulic rear brakes are also required.
New technical regulations permit only a single homologated bodywork package, with only one adjustable aerodynamic device, meaning 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.
And, making the forthcoming season even more technically intriguing, the top class of WEC and Le Mans will feature a balance of performance, meaning organisers will modify the performance of each car on a race-by-race basis, regulating energy usage and weight, targeting identical performance potential from each Le Mans Hypercar.
That should serve to produce close and exciting racing between TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and its hypercar competitors Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and ByKolles Racing, as well as Alpine, which will present an additional challenge with its LMP1 car.
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@TGR_WEC) January 15, 2021
“The new regulations are designed to showcase road-relevant technology in WEC whilst also delivering a top-level, attractive spectacle. We are looking forward to welcoming new competitors and being part of an exciting future for endurance racing with our GR010 HYBRID,” explains Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director. “The new Le Mans Hypercar regulations mean the GR010 HYBRID is a completely new car, designed to a different philosophy.
“A major difference is the architecture of the hybrid system; we will have one kinetic energy recovery system and brake-by-wire, on the front axle. This means we had to install a starter motor and fully hydraulic rear brakes for the first time in our WEC project. Following the regulations, our car will have one bodywork specification to handle all circuits, so we needed to provide a wider working window for this car.”
Tasked with the pleasure of driving the GR010 HYBRID in the ninth season of WEC once again are reigning World Champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the #7 car, with Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley taking the wheel of the #8 car. Nyck de Vries continues in his role as test and reserve driver.
The defence of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s WEC title begins with the 1000 Miles of Sebring on 19 March prior to the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 1, with the defence of the famous Le Mans 24 Hours on 12-13 June.
The first World Championship endurance race in Monza since 1992 takes place on 18 July before trips to Fuji Speedway (26 September) and Bahrain (20 November), all of which are six-hour contests.
GR010 HYBRID Technical Specifications
- Bodywork Carbon fibre composite
- Gearbox Transversal with 7 gears sequential
- Driveshafts Constant velocity tripod plunge-joint driveshafts
- Clutch Multidisc
- Differential Mechanical locking differential
- Suspension Independent front and rear double wishbone, pushrod-system
- Springs Torsion bars
- Anti roll bars Front and rear
- Steering Hydraulically assisted
- Brakes Akebono mono-block alloy callipers with carbon ventilated discs
- Rims RAYS magnesium alloy, 13 x 18 inch
- Tyres Michelin radial (31/71-18)
- Length 4900 mm
- Width 2000 mm
- Height 1150 mm
- Weight 1040kg
- Fuel capacity 90 litres
- Engine V6 direct injection twin-turbo
- Valves 4 per cylinder
- Engine capacity 3.5 Litre
- Fuel Petrol
- Engine power 500 kW / 680PS
- Hybrid power 200 kW / 272PS