Toyota made history last weekend by winning the Tokashi 24-Hour Race with its Supra HV-R hybrid racing car. It’s the first time ever that a Hybrid racing car has won a competition.
The Supra’s success follows an entry last year when Toyota was the first car manufacturer to enter a hybrid vehicle – the Lexus GS450h – into the Tokashi 24-Hour race which finished 17th overall. 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. Toyota used the data gained from last year’s race in order to develop and improve the Supra HV-R hybrid.
The race car was based on the Supra GT that’s used in Super GT races in Japan, but modified and equipped with a special racing hybrid system. In order to improve the system’s energy regeneration and operating efficiency during the race, it incorporated three electric motors and a specially designed capacitor.
A four-wheel energy regeneration and drive system has been adopted which includes 10kW in-wheel motors in the front wheels in addition to one 150 kW rear-axle mounted electric motor. Thanks to this energy regeneration system with three motors/generators, the vehicle can recover a greater amount of energy more efficiently during rapid deceleration and braking from high speeds.
Because racing involves repeated acceleration and deceleration, a quick-charging capacitor system was adopted instead of the usual rechargeable batteries.
Although Toyota can claim to have the first win with a hybrid racing car, the Green-Car-Guide sponsored Oaktec Honda Insight rally car continues to win its class (see Honda hybrid rally car is first in Class), and keep checking out this site for an exciting new Oaktec hybrid rally car that will be unveiled soon!