Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Engine Specs Announced

The IZOD IndyCar Series announced today that the 2012 engine formula will be more efficient and contain more power then the current formula.  With a maximum of six cylinders and 2.4 cubic liters the ethanol-powered turbocharged engines will produce between 550 and 700 horsepower.  The ICONIC Committee which includes Gil de Ferran, Brian Barnhart, Tony Cotman, Eddie Gossage, Rick Long, Tony Purnell and Neil Ressler recommended the changes to the league and hope to have a decision on the chassis package by the end of this month.

"The ICONIC Advisory Committee has researched future engine platforms with manufacturers, teams, drivers and fans, and they felt this strategy best highlights key attributes of the sport - speed, competition and diversity. We feel this open and all-inclusive platform will make our sport an attractive option to engine manufacturers, while allowing development of a relevant and innovative platform to the current and future automotive industry by highlighting efficiency, performance, durability, quality, environmental responsibility and safety."

"Everyone wants to see competition and high performance on the track. We are the fastest and most versatile racing in the world and this new engine strategy will continue to enhance that.  Now that we have a platform in place, it is our job to put this package in front of the automotive industry to attract the type of participation that will elevate the sport.  We truly want to challenge manufacturers to once again make our sport a proving ground and a platform to showcase technology that will benefit the future of their industry." - IRL CEO, Randy Bernard

"We will continue to evaluate rules that will keep a level playing field across the board with the various engines that could enter our sport. For example, we could see a V-6 competing against an Inline 4 at all IZOD IndyCar Series events in the future. We will require reference engines as a benchmark in performance while looking at sonic air restrictors, fuel flow restrictions and more as key criteria for competition." - President of Competion and Racing Operations, Brian Barnhart


Now thats too much power for the Delta Wing car, right? Didn't they want only 300HP? I hope this means it has been eliminated from the list of possible chassis.

Yes, the DeltaWing people wanted about 300hp, which as you said is much less than what it looks like is going to happen. I have no insight into the chassis discussions, but, the news today does not sound good for all of the DW supporters

Well, that is, unless the Delta Wing guys are willing to reintroduce some of the drag into their car. I had an idea a few months ago after its introduction, where they could make the front wheels 36" or 48" apart instead of the 24" of the show car, still shroud the front wheels from the airflow, and they'd probably only increase drag by maybe 20-30% over the show car. This would serve to make the car a little more "normal" looking. With that layout, they wouldn't be able to get away with 300-325 HP and do the target laptimes, but 450-500 HP would certainly get the job done.

All speculation and wild ideas on my part, to be sure. Ben Bowlby doesn't sound like he's interested in compromising at all...

Your dead on Speedgeek. If they were to change up the design a big, adding more drag, a 500HP engine would work. But, as you said, I don't think they're interested in changing it up to much.

If the DeltaWing doesn't take to the track in the IZOD IndyCar Series I would be stunned if it wasn't picked up by someone, somewhere areound the world as a next generation formula.

The power output has no effect on the suitability of a V6 for the Delta: it could be limited in a variety of ways. Air restrictor, rev limiter, boost reduction, fuel flow.

The problem is the added weight of the engine and ancillaries, and modifying the chassis and bodywork to accomodate the alternate requirements.

That changes quite a bit more than just the engine architecture. It is essentially a re-design. Different sidepods to accomodate larger coolers, perhaps a larger fuel cell, wider chassis, different bell housing, redesigned suspension to accomodate the weight increase, etc.

Delta will likely go ahead with construction as planned, with the light weight 4 cyl turbo they selected. If they can fund the project, which has yet to be accomplished.


The ultimate in "efficiency" would have been to recycle the old American Le Mans Series engines that Honda and Porsche were running, rebadge the Porsche under whichever brand the VW Group wanted to run, and have at it.

I'm all for the V6, though, and I'm all for competition. I'd honestly like to see only a few manufacturers for most of the IndyCar season, but a completely open Indianapolis 500. Remember how Penske dominated in 1994 with their special Mercedes engines? This would allow manufacturers to come in with Indy-centric programs and try to advance the sport through glory at its biggest event.

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