Audi and Toyota have revealed contrasting strategies for energy-retrieval systems on their respective LMP1 challengers in next year’s World Endurance Championship.
The new-for-2014 LMP1 energybased formula allows for a doubling of the amount of energy that can be harvested and then returned to the track via the wheels. Audi has revealed that it will be sticking with a system that employs only the front axle, while Toyota has confirmed that it is developing a hybrid system using both front and rear wheels.
Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said: “We think we will stay with one axle and the system we have. We feel we can capture enough energy with our current system; we can’t use everything that we recuperate now.”
Pascal Vasselon, technical director at Toyota Motorsport, revealed that the new car from TMG in Cologne will use one motor-generator unit on each axle in a bid to reach the maximum of eight mega joules of energy that can be returned to the track over the 8.47-mile lap at Le Mans, an increase over the 3.5 allowed this year. Toyota has confirmed that the conventional petrol-powered engine in its 2014 contender will be based on its existing 3.4-litre normally-aspirated V8.
That contrasts with Porsche, which is known to have chosen a small-capacity turbo for its 2014 WEC contender.
“There are two schools of thought,” said Vasselon. “One is for a small-capacity turbo, the other for a largecapacity, normally aspirated engine. Our people are convinced that a big, normally aspirated engine is better.” Audi will continue with a turbodiesel next year, although it has yet to acknowledge as much in public.