Panasonic Toyota Racing used a media open day at its Cologne headquarters on Saturday to unveil its 2004 challenger, the TF104.

Panasonic Toyota Racing used a media open day at its Cologne headquarters on Saturday to unveil its 2004 challenger, the TF104.

With the new car, the team hopes to close the gap to Formula One’s leading teams in 2004.

Under the guidance of chief designer Gustav Brunner and his team, the TF104 is an evolutionary redesign of its TF103 predecessor and will play an integral role in the team's aim of closing the gap to Formula 1's leading teams in 2004.

"We have adopted similar principles for the TF104 race car to the ones we followed when producing the TF103," said chief designer Gustav Brunner. The TF103 and TF104 may appear visually similar, but we have looked at every single part of the car, studied it, redesigned it and improved it."

The most challenging aspect of the new TF104 race car has been on the engine side. With new F1 regulations specifying that only one engine must be used per car for the entire race weekend a priority has been to retain the competitive power output and performance of the Toyota engine over a longer lifespan.

"At certain times in 2003 we were able to show what Toyota is capable of," said driver Olivier Panis on Saturday. "In 2004 we have to use these performances as a springboard to achieve the results that we deserve. We want to get the points and catch up with the leading teams."

“Everything seems better in this car,” he said. It drove well in testing and handles much better at high speed. I think we're going to take a big step forward in 2004."

Original article from Car