With the opening race of this year's World Endurance Championship just around the corner, Toyota Motorsport Gmbh has officially revealed the heavily-revised TS030 LMP1 prototype it will be fielding in 2013.
Though based mostly on last year's car, Toyota claims it hasn't cut back on improvements: according to them, major changes have been made to the car's aerodynamics, and the monocoque chassis has been almost completely redesigned.
The powertrain, though, remains mostly the same as last year's. As a result, the TS030 V2.0 is powered by a petrol-electric drivetrain, consisting of a 530bhp 3.5 petrol-powered V6 and an electric motor that provides an additional 300bhp.
Toyota has also revealed it will be operating under the same means as last year: two TS030s will be fielded, with the same drivers from last year (Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima, Nicolas Lapierre, Alexander Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin) being retained as well.
Given the TS030's pace last year (Toyota was able to win three races last year, and could have won the 24 Heures du Mans had on-track incidents not forced both cars to retire from the race), it's perfectly understandable to expect something similar from the team for the 2013 WEC.
And, when you also consider they'll be contesting a full season this year – in 2012, Toyota entered TS030s into six of the championship's eight races – the chances of Audi walking away with the championship crown again is even less likely.
Keep your eyes peeled on the Toyota TS030s this year.