TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID LMP1 SLOT CAR PROJECT
The future of the company lies in the SLOT CAR LMP1 project. For 4 years, the new SRC 2.0 EVO team had the premise of designing car models considering that adaptation to this sector is very complicated to comply with what was closed at that merger meeting. The phrase before the most realistic replica possible and with the 1:32 scale as an obligation was: “we must adapt it to the SLOT for the competition”. So it is easy to write that the mechanics of the model should be the best possible. In the case of a new project to enter the premier class “LMP1” competitions, a prototype had to be chosen and obviously the TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID was the project without any doubt. The motivation why, for SRC 2.0 EVO, was that “we want to win in the LMP1 category on circuits around the world”. Of course it was for the team that the work was going to be extremely difficult to catch up, but after a meeting between two people a straight line was defined to begin…. The first motivation is that we were doing the math to make the SLOT replica of a winning car all over the world in the real 1: 1 scale. We had to be sure that this project was going to work well, because it is the most important for SRC 2.0 EVO and it happened to be the beginning of a future to continue being manufacturers.
“Get to work”, began in design with the main characteristics to reproduce:
1.- Measurements in widths and heights.
2.- Adaptation of the engine systems to be reproduced.
3.- Weights and proportions.
4.- Diseño de partes en proporción para adaptar a la escala.
5.- Design of the mechanics of the prototype with several versions. T1 and T2 design.
After listing all this, we made the first designs by measuring the model 1: 1 to have real measurements such as: Width, height, wheelbase and dimensions. Next, we would meet with a person with 25 years of racing experience to expose the system that had been thought and pondered.
Actually, we have studied several systems since 2001. One of them is the one used for RALLYSLOT series category, with longitudinal engine and independent suspension springs on the traction axles of the reproduced car. In the case of LMP1, it was a project that was thought in 2017 and that we had not finished due to economic capacity and the execution of other previous projects.
Going back to history, to always relate it to the definition of the execution of a product like this, as we continue with the fact that after a few years we decided to jump to the most difficult category to compete and the most important worldwide: LMP1. The best opportunity for us, as we wrote, was the TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID. Everything related to the study, we have the aesthetic and personal reason, although the major turning point was that, above all, according to what was commented, that no one had tried to do it at 1:32 scale due to its aesthetic and winning mechanical difficulty.
The stark reality is that you have to do a lot of design work to make a winning prototype and replicate the real one. “We jumped into the void to try it, but with a good team to open the parachute.”
What we will always remember and will remain as the worst memory at the beginning of this very important project for the company is SARS-COV 2 (COVID-19) that spoiled the entire project for us, causing both health and the economy.
Leaving this paragraph aside, we go into the technical aspects and show you our files. As a guide, we add a few key points also explaining everything related to the LMP1 project.
Key points of the LMP1 PROJECT mechanics:
We had to design a system that was the best, and we could not do something inferior to what existed because that would mean not selling anything from the project. This system, after conducting our studies, we believed that it was the best, because the AW angle engine bench (engine support) works on 4 suspension points and a central cylinder that allows the torque of the AW angle engine bench itself. (motor mount) with respect to the chassis. Continuing with the explanation of the torsion, the cylinder forces the assembly to always work on these 4 points. That system had to have a name and our name passed by giving importance to one of the pieces called bolt. This being the case, and because of its operation we call it “Bolt System” (BS). Gravity is always forced to the lowest point on the chassis, which is the base of the cylinder supported by the chassis. The 4 suspension points must be perfectly distributed in the two most important work areas of the chassis. The system will work fine as long as your torque works perfectly at that center point. In order for the bolt system to be activated, a fair regulation of the vertical clearance of the bolt is needed. This work is carried out from the inside of the chassis where its exact regulation oscillates between one and three tenths of a millimeter on a track with positive flatness. Actually, as soon as the bolt is regulated so that the torque is adequate, it is not necessary to manipulate this multiple set of parts fixed by micro-model aircraft screws (Diameter of the micro fixing screws 1.6mm. Diameter of the stud of adjustment 2´5mm).
The system would also have a second version. This version would be that of the position called “linear or in-line” (motor with axis perpendicular to the rear drive axle). This system will also be very effective due to the design of the 4 suspension points of the motor bed. For this motor position we have possibly the best 24 tooth gear with the smallest diameter of 13.40 mm in the manufacturers sector.
2.- SYSTEM OPTIONS:
In this sector, we had to take into account the possibility of choosing between mounting the motor diagonally or in line. For us they are the two most important positions. It is also true that the engine positions that we present are due to the fact that there is a regulation that allows both and we want to enter the races with all possible options to be competitive.
For us it is very important to do these two versions because with the “in-line” system we have had very good experiences and we want to continue winning races all over the world. We do not want to win only in Spain. The “linear or in-line” system is our beginning in this sector, and after 8 years we continue to trust in its effectiveness and fun.
The differences between the two positions are remarkable. When angled motor sensations are faster and easier for users to handle, inline sensations are more complicated. Positioning the engine with an incline on the track rail is more technical and in turn more difficult to configure. The result is that they are more demanding mechanically. The online system is the most select piloting system and where the skill “at the trigger” is essential.
In both, the conditions of the motor magnet are essential if the rail is made of material with magnetic attraction.
The AW angle system has become the most widely used due to its behavior. It is so different, that it is becoming very exclusive to the speed circuit based on our 1:32 scale.
Everything that surrounds this project mainly goes through the testing phase. Everything we were going to design clearly involved going through testing by a team of drivers. Testing all project designs is mandatory and your obligation involves being technically critical. For everything to go well in this project we had Ricardo Merchán and Álvaro Moreno. These two test drivers would be our hands and our touch when putting all the mechanics to roll. Everything must be perfectly adjusted and they both knew what to do. In test pieces, the level of precision must be raised so that their tolerance is as correct as possible. The examples are clear:
– Springs are tested, where the importance of spring types and their strength are vital.
– The different types of plastics with which we can work are tested. Plastics that allow the LMP1 to perform at its best.
– The most difficult adjustment tests of the “Bolt System” are performed where each screw is adjusted to the thousandth.
– All screws must have their correct setting. Each diameter counts as an error if it is incorrect. We must avoid these problems in testing. The main adjustments of the engine mounts are made by testing hours and hours so that there are no errors.
– The important areas of reinforcement of the plastic for its resistance in the race are made on the speed track. The turns must be correct and the end of the guide travel cannot cause a break. The different supports of the body on the chassis must be measured with the maximum adjustment so that there are no negative oscillating movements.
Every positive step we take on a test is an important result. Slack measurements are the most difficult part of the testing process. Configurations at all critical points where our design can excel must be identified at the time of testing. Everything in the tests is important, nothing is easy because it may be that a small unimportant thing will leave you out of the best race time. Testing of fittings and measurements on any mechanical part is decisive for making a winning prototype.
The anecdote of this new project:
People were not expecting this release of SRC 2.0 EVO. Entering the fight for a place in this category is very difficult. There are several manufacturers that have it all, but we had to take off with a new project that was not “Rally Slot”.
Honestly, for us it was a challenge with a very high investment. We knew we couldn’t fail and we had to invest everything necessary to make all the steel molds for all the new parts. It has been very difficult to get here and we have given the project too many hours of work to be able to come to light. The main objective is that we must enter strong and place ourselves in a good place on the podium and we must make this project a success together with the model to be reproduced: TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID LMP1.
In the dates that we are in, before the launch, what really motivates us is that people want to touch our product. Once again, the objective that is added appears and is to provide the highest quality and that our product is a winner in the circuits around the world.
Right now, we are the first to introduce this model. Our project can be very complicated because we are not only going to look for aesthetics. In this case we have and must seek the maximum competitiveness of the prototype in an analog version. Obligatory, we must seek to be winners of the most prestigious races of our scale. That can be achieved if you try to unite competition and aesthetics. For a SLOT CAR based on 1:32 scale, the tracks are the challenge while maintaining respect for aesthetics. Unlike other sectors such as DIE CAST, where aesthetics rule, we have the responsibility that an LMP1 will proceed to win on the electric tracks or it will not be valid as a SLOT product.
To our suppliers, collaborators, distributors, clients and followers for the interest and support shown in this project.
Special thanks: To Ricardo Merchán del Pliego, where friendship with him after so many years gave us the opportunity to work together on such a special project. To Álvaro Moreno Gil, mechanic of each piece to be assembled and tested with Ricardo, where we place all the trust so that his touch would be that of the project director.
Special thanks: To our assistant design team Cayetano and Gloria for carrying out the 3D rendering of such an important project.
Special Thanks: To Scott Brownlee and Joe Clifford from TOYOTA UK for their early coverage of the project.
* TOYOTA UK Team Post: Latest Stories – Toyota UK Magazine