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Toyota Supra HV-R: Hybrid Car Wins 24-Hour Race

Motoring Channel Staff - 20/July/2007

Toyota Supra HV-R
Toyota Supra HV-R

Toyota Supra HV-R
Toyota Supra HV-R

Toyota Supra HV-R
Toyota Supra HV-R

Gunma, Japan — The hybrid car movement has just been given a massive PR boost after Toyota won the Tokashi 24-Hour race in Japan. With a hybrid racecar.

Augmented by two 'in-wheel' electric motors and a third axle-mounted electric motor, the modified hybrid race car won the famous Japanese race. Called the Supra HV-R, it marks a milestone in Japanese motorsport and heralds the hybrid as a force to be reckoned with.

Peugeot and Audi proved that diesel technology could work in their Le Mans race cars, having since won multiple races, and now the same can be said for Toyota's hybrid technology.

The Denso Toyota Supra HV-R is a lightweight race car, weighing just 1080kg. With it's four motors (one petrol, three electric) it produces 353 kilowatts (480hp).

Toyota has an ambitious plan to develop a high performance sports car for road use in the next three years, and as the Supra HV-R proved itself over 24-hours of non-stop driving, and under high stress, it suggests that Toyota is well on the way to developing high performance hybrid systems.

The 2010 Supra is perhaps closer than we think?

In 2006 Toyota celebrated it's first hybrid motor sports milestone when it was the first car manufacturer to enter a hybrid car into the Tokashi 24-Hour race. Though the Lexus GS450h (reviewed here) came 17th, it's now clear that Toyota's plans to accelerate its hybrid development program are bearing fruit.

Toyota's press release states "...by entering hybrid systems into racing events, Toyota engineers hope to discover ways to make hybrid systems, most famously fitted to the Toyota Prius production car, more efficient and lighter. In only the second year of competition Toyota used – with success – the data gained from last year's race in order to develop a new, special racing unit to the limits of hybrid performance."

Toyota also explains that two distinctive technologies were applied to the Supra HV-R to improve it's energy regeneration efficiency:

  1. Three electric motors

    A four-wheel energy regeneration and drive system has been adopted which includes in-wheel motors in the front wheels in addition to one 150kW rear-axle mounted electric motor. Thanks to this energy regeneration system with three motors/generators, the vehicle can more efficiently recover a greater amount of energy during rapid deceleration and braking from high speeds.

  2. Specially Designed Capacitor

    In light of the fact that racing involves a repeated acceleration and deceleration under full system performance, a quick-charging capacitor system was adopted instead of the usual rechargeable batteries.

Denso Toyota Supra HV-R Specifications:

Vehicle

Denso Toyota Supra HV-R

Entry Class

GT/TP1

Engine

Modified (Super GT version 3UZ-FE engine)

Engine displacement

4,480cc

Air restrictor

29.6mm i2

Maximum output

480hp @ 6800rpm

Maximum torque

510Nm @ 5600rpm

Electric motor

Front motor: 10kW i2 (in-wheel motor)
Rear motor: 150kW

Vehicle weight

1080kg

Team name

Toyota Team SARD

Drivers

Katsuyuki Hiranaka (Japan)
Andre Couto (Portugal)
Akira Lida (Japan)
Tatsuya Kataoka (Japan)

Related articles:
Toyota Corolla (2007)
Toyota Supra (2010)
Toyota Tarago V6 (2010)
Toyota Aurion (2006)
Toyota Aurius (concept)
Toyota Camry (2006)
Toyota Tarago (2006)
Toyota RAV4 (2006)

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