Toyota announced Friday that it will compete in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours with a new race car powered by a petrol hybrid powertrain.
According to the automaker, the LMP1 will be a collaborative effort: Toyota Motorsport in Germany will design the chassis, and the car will be equipped with a hybrid gas powertrain engineered by Toyota in Japan.
A new race team will be organized out of Toyota Motorsport's Cologne headquarters, the company said in a press release. And in addition to competing in the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 16 and 17, 2012), Toyota plans to enter a number of 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship events.
"Toyota has entered Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology, this time will be a completely new challenge. 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," Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motor Corporation senior managing officer and Toyota Motorsport chairman, said in a press release.
This is the return to Le Mans 24 Hours for Toyota. The last time Toyota competed in the event, as a manufacturer, was in 1999, when the GT-One set a new race lap record.