Toyota and Porsche unveil their cars for the 2017 season

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Ahead of The Prologue at Monza, Porsche today launched its updated 919 Hybrid which the German marque hopes will defend its FIA World Endurance Championship Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in LMP1.

The new 919 Hybrid car features a radically revised aerodynamic package, in compliance with new regulations from the FIA placing limitations on downforce, and will be powered by a 2-litre V4 combustion engine, the most efficient in Porsche’s history to date.

This will be combined with an 8MJ hybrid system which recovers energy during acceleration and braking, generating 900 BHP.

Porsche displayed the car in low-downforce spec at Monza alongside other hybrid vehicles from the performance range, demonstrating the transfer of technology from the race track to the road.

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “For the 2017 season, 60 to 70% of the vehicle is newly developed. The basic concept of the 919 Hybrid still offers scope to optimise the finer details and further boost efficiency. The monocoque has remained unchanged since 2016, but the optimisation potential of all other components was analysed and, in most cases, adjustments made accordingly.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing today unveiled the latest evolution of its TS050 HYBRID, which the Japanese manufacturer hopes will return them to the top of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time since 2014.

All nine drivers and Toyota senior team management were present as the car was introduced to the world media at Monza, where the official two-day Prologue will be staged this weekend. 

A joint effort between engineers in Germany and Japan, Toyota’s new LMP1 challenger has undergone extensive development over the winter to comply with the ACO’s new technical regulations and take the challenge to reigning champions Porsche.

It has already completed over 30,000 km of testing across Europe, including four 30-hour endurance tests, as Toyota target a first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June especially after last year’s heart-breaking finish.

The car boasts a new 2.4 litre V6 turbo-charged petrol engine, combined with a smaller, lighter, 8MJ hybrid system delivering 1,000 horsepower.

A raised nose and sharp undercuts to the sidepods are among the raft of modifications to the bodywork aimed at improving aerodynamic efficiency.

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “Our 2017 TS050 HYBRID represents a significant update; the only item which is not changed is the monocoque. At several races last year we showed the potential of our car with strong performances."

"But to achieve our targets we need more, so as well as big aerodynamic changes, we have optimised each area for performance and weight. What happened at Le Mans last year was painful so we gave extra attention to quality management. Pre-season testing has gone well in terms of performance and reliability so we feel positive but we also know we face a tough competitor.”