July 5, 2006
Toyota to enter hybrid in 24-hour endurance race
Toyota City, Japan – Toyota will compete in the Tokachi 24-Hour Race, Japan’s only 24-hour semi-international racing event, with a modified Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan. The race runs from July 15 to 17.
According to a report from the Green Car Congress, the company’s engineers plan to obtain technological feedback for production vehicles, including data on how to make hybrid systems smaller, lighter and more efficient. It is the first time a manufacturer has played a leading role in such a race in Japan; until now, only private teams ran their own vehicles in events.
The GS 450h is entering the “Production-1” class for hybrids and other environmentally-considerate vehicles. Its main modifications are to its suspension, tires and wheels, safety roll cage, safety fuel tank, brake system and to weight reductions.