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  Toyota 92C-V
 

  Article Image gallery (24) 001 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Japan
Produced in:1992
Numbers built:6
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 03, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionA notable absentee on the grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 was Toyota. Following several years of disappointing results, the Japanese manufacturer had decided to develop brand new cars for the 1992 season around the second generation, 3.5-litre / 750 kg Group C regulations. Ironically, it was rival Mazda that scored the much sought after first outright Le Mans victory with a Japanese car during Toyota's sabbatical. Undoubtedly, this pushed Toyota to come back even stronger.

In addition to the all-new TS010, which was powered by a 3.5-litre V10 engine, Toyota also readied a further development of their existing, first generation Group C car. Dubbed the 92C-V, it was intended primarily to compete in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship. A pair was also shipped over to Le Mans to serve as back-ups for the very fast but equally fragile TS010s.

The 92C-V was very much an evolution of the 90C-V run during the 1990 season. Carried over was the carbon-fibre composite chassis that had been designed and built by Japanese specialists Dome. The suspension was through double wishbones and push-rod actuated springs and dampers on all four corners. The 92C-V was powered by the familiar 3.6-litre, twin-turbo V8 that produced around 800 bhp depending on the boost levels.

It is believed that a total of six chassis were constructed, three of which appeared at the Suzuka 500 km debut. They finished a promising third, fourth and fifth. Unfortunately, third was the best the 92C-V could do all year in Japan. The two cars at Le Mans were fielded by KITZ Racing and Trust Racing respectively with considerable factory support. The Trust car finished fifth overall, which was enough to claim victory in the Cat. 2 class.

For the 1993 season, the cars were subtly updated to become the 93C-V and ran at Le Mans once more alongside the TS010s. They finished fifth and sixth overall and first and second in the Cat. 2 class. For 1994, more substantial modifications were needed to allow the 94C-V to run in the new LMP class. Most notable was the addition of a flat floor, removing the ground-effect tunnels. The same two chassis were raced again and now the best result was second overall and first in the LMP1/C90 class.

At the end of the 1994 season, the Group C era had really come to a close and the cars were finally retired. Toyota would return to Le Mans but an overall victory is still elusive for this Japanese manufacturer.

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  Article Image gallery (24) 001 Specifications