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The Japanese manufacturer has released shots of the car, the GR010 Hybrid, in camouflage ahead of its official unveiling on Friday when the car will be shown in its 2021 livery. 

GR stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s new sporty sub-brand, while the three-digit numbering system of the marque’s Le Mans-spec machinery stretching back to the TS010 3.5-litre Group C car of 1991-1993 has been retained and reset.

The photographs from the car’s maiden test at Paul Ricard in October show a car with a clear  resemblance to the TS050 Hybrid that claimed the 2018/19 and 2019/20 WEC drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles, as well as three consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours victories in 2018-20. 

But Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon stressed that few components have been retained from its predecessor. 

“Except the generic parts like switches, sensors and such, there are hardly any carry-over parts between the two cars because the regulation philosophy is very different,” he said. “It is a completely new car.”

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Vasselon explained that in terms of the concept of the design “the major difference is the architecture of the hybrid system”. 

The new LMH regulations allow for a single energy-retrieval unit on the front axle rather than the twin systems of the TS040 and then the TS050.

“We implemented a system with two kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS), one on the front and one on the rear [of the previous cars], with a brake-by-wire system front and rear,” said Vasselon. 

“This is not allowed anymore; the hybrid system option in the regulations imposes only one KERS and one brake-by-wire braking, both at the front. 

“This creates many differences and challenges: for example, we don’t have the rear MGU [motor generator unit] anymore,