See what it’s like to go flat out at the Le Mans circuit

Turning in a quick lap time on a short track with a limited number of corners to memorize is one thing, but what about a circuit that’s 8.47 miles long, composed partly of repurposed public roads, and featuring one of the longest straights in racing? That’s the challenge for drivers at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi just set a record for the fastest-ever lap of Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe in a Toyota TS050 Hybrid during a qualifying session for this year’s race. Kobayashi completed his lap in 3:14.791, beating the previous record by 2.096 seconds, and averaging 156.5 mph. The video above shows exactly what that looks like.

The record-breaking performance means Toyota will start from pole position when the race gets underway Saturday. Kobayashi will share his number 7 Toyota with Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin. Toyotas will also start second and fifth, with the rival Porsche 919 Hybrids sandwiched between the Japanese contingent in third and fourth.

Le Mans is one of the most prestigious events in racing, but Toyota has extra motivation to win this year. The Japanese automaker came tantalizingly close to victory in 2016, only for its lead car to break down in the final minutes of the race. Toyota has never won Le Mans, but has five second-place finishes to its name. Rival Porsche has won a record 18 times. When it comes to Toyota, “underdog” is the operative word.

While Toyota and Porsche battle for the overall victory, the other big story at Le Mans this year is Ford’s attempt to pull off a second win in the GTE Pro class, the top class for cars based on production models. The Blue Oval scored a win last year with its GT on the 50th anniversary of its first overall Le Mans win, but its quest for a repeat victory hasn’t gotten off to a good start.

The 2017 GTE Pro pole was secured by Darren Turner in the number 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, while the highest-placed Ford GT was fifth. Ford seems to have been affected by “balance of performance” rule changes made to level the playing field among the different cars in the GTE Pro class. But a lot can happen in 24 hours, so Ford’s luck may improve.

Will Ford find more speed? Will Toyota finally get its long-sought Le Mans win? The 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off Saturday at 3:00 p.m. local time in France. Stay tuned.

Gaming

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.