Toyota Challenges Le Mans Status Quo with Hybrid Sports Car Entry

By Joel Arellano | October 14, 2011
Ever wonder just what Toyota does with all that money it makes on Camrys and Corollas? Toyota last participated in the famous Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race back in the late Nineties with its GT-One entry setting a new record. The automaker just announced it will not only be returning to Le Mans in 2012, but its entry will be a hybrid sports car. “Toyota has entered Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge," Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Officer and Toyota Motorsport Chairman, said in a statement. "We want to write a new chapter in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through our use of hybrid technology." Mr. Yamashina went on to thank the ACO, which organizes the Le Mans 24, and the FIA, which oversees motorsports events worldwide, for allowing the vehicle to participate. The hybrid race car will be built by German-based Toyota Motorsports, though its engine will be built in Japan. Toyota plans to debut the hybrid race car in early 2012 in time for pre-season testing.
The names of the race car team drivers have not been formally announced. Source: Toyota GB