Let us take a moment to commend Toyota for stepping up to the plate with a hybrid challenger for 2014 of their own. An LMP1 program is hardly cheap especially with the changing regulations designed to favor efficiency which is why only those with ridiculously deep pockets can play. Well, fortunately Toyota has ridiculously deep pockets.
The 2014 race is going to be much more interesting with three strong challengers vying for the top spot. Audi is the returning champion and favorite but the TS040 stacks up well. It has a 3.7 liter V8 with 513 horsepower and the electric motors produce an eye opening 475 horsepower.
All three teams are using hybrid drivetrains but each is taking a different approach. The Porsche 919 Spyder hybrid uses a turbocharged gasoline V4 with an exhaust-energy recirculation system. Audi's R18 E-tron Quattro uses a turbocharged V6 diesel with a KERS (kinetic energy recovery) system. Toyota is going with a naturally aspirated V8 and multiple electric motors.
Who will win? Well, that is the fun part. We will have to wait and see who comes out on top on June 15.