Race fans, get ready. Although we already knew that this was in the works, Toyota has let the first picture of its new hybrid LMP1 racer – which is due to compete in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans – slip on Twitter.
The tweeted image matches the sketch that the automaker released back in October of last year when it announced that it would race a new GT-One prototype car at Le Mans. That car has is being developed by Toyota’s German motorsports arm, and will take on the likes of the Audi R18 TDI when it hits the track later this year. (Audi’s arch rival Peugeot just pulled out of Le Mans for the foreseeable future, despite releasing its second-generation 908 HDi FAP racecar in 2011 and developing working a hybrid version for 2012.)
No word yet on what engine will be powering the Toyota GT-One, but chances are that it will take advantage of either a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) or a battery-operated hybrid system.
When the GT-One hits the Le Mans track this June, it will be the first time in roughly a decade that Toyota has dabbled in prototype racing. We’re sure that, with Peugeot out of the game, Toyota will have a better chance at giving Audi a run for its money.