PROMOTED CONTENT ON BEHALF OF TOYOTA FIRST
Toyota is taking the unprecedented step of entering cars using three different fuel types for a championship racing series.
Hydrogen, carbon-neutral fuel and petrol are being used by its entries in the 2022 ENEOS Super Taikyu Series Powered by Hankook, one of Japan’s most popular motor racing competitions. The season recently got under way at the Suzuka circuit.
The ORC Rookie team is running the Toyota Corolla H2 Concept, which uses a hydrogen combustion engine, and a new Toyota GR86 CNF (carbon neutral fuel) concept in all seven championship rounds. From the next round in the series, a 24-hour race at Fuji Speedway in June, TOM’S SPIRIT will join the grid with a GR86 using a racing petrol engine.
Toyota’s adoption of new fuel technologies follows its aim to achieve a carbon-neutral society while using experience from motorsport to help develop ever-better cars for the road. Its racing programme is also helping generate new partners in the production, transportation and use of hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuel.
In the five-hour season-opening race, the GR86 CNF Concept was second and the Corolla H2 Concept fifth in the STQ class.
Corolla H2 Concept
The Corolla H2 Concept, powered by a hydrogen engine, made its racing debut in 2021, competing four rounds of the Super Taikyu series. In the six months from May’s opening round to the final meeting in November, engine performance was improved to levels comparable with petrol engines. Power was increased by 24 per cent and torque by 33 per cent, and successful control of abnormal combustion was achieved. Key issues to be addressed this year include improvement in the car’s driving range and a reduction in refuelling time.
Starting this year, Toyota is entering a new vehicle based on the GR86 coupe that uses carbon-neutral fuel, with a view to expanding internal combustion engine fuel options. The race car is powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine developed from the unit featured in GR Yaris and the hydrogen engine used by the Corolla H2.
Although carbon dioxide is emitted during combustion, the fuel itself uses CO2 present in the atmosphere, resulting in plus/minus zero emissions. It can also be used with existing fuel infrastructure and powertrain technology.
By competing this year alongside entries from Subaru Corporation and another team in the STQ class, Toyota will be able to use motorsport as means of training, discovering issues, making improvements and exploring the possibilities for future practical applications of the fuel. The knowledge gained from racing will also be applied to the evolution of the road-going GR86.
Toyota will enter a vehicle based on GR86 from the second round of the 2022 series, the Fuji Super Tec 24-hour race, under the TOM’S SPIRIT banner. Closer in specification to a production model than the GR86 CNF Concept, it will be refined throughout the racing season, with relevant findings applied to the development of road-going models and parts.
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