The 24 Hours of Le Mans was strange in 1992. For the top prototype class, organizers for the World Sportscar Championship (WSC) and limited engine displacement to 3.5 liters. This meant that pretty much everyone had to show up with a new car equipped with a wildly complicated F1-esque engine.
Toyota had been racing at Le Mans since 1985, but it decided that would run a full WSC season in 1992. Its weapon of choice was called the TS010, a V10-powered monster that looked like it could dominate.
After all, the TS010 was designed by Tony Southgate, who masterminded the Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJR-9 and XJR-12 while he worked for Tom Wakinshaw Racing. And it was fast. Just watch this video from testing at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway in 1992. Drivers Geoff Lees and Andy Wallace were cornering flat-out at nearly 200 mph behind the wheel. The car seemingly had limitless downforce.
The howl it makes is special too. I could listen to that V10 noise all day.
The TS010 won its WSC debut at Monza, but sadly that'd be its only European victory. It managed a second-place finish at Le Mans, and it took top honors at the All Japan Sportscar Championship, but that's it. Both series were cancelled for 1993, making the TS010 an orphan.
Toyota brought the TS010 back to Le Mans in 1993, with the best finisher placing fourth overall behind three Peugeots. That was the last hurrah for the TS010.
Today, the TS010 is mostly forgotten, which seems like a shame. So, take a moment of your day to remember the TS010. It might've never won Le Mans, but that doesn't mean it wasn't great.