After months of speculation the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced today their plans for the 2012 IndyCar. Powered by turbocharged Ethanol engines, Dallara will build an enhanced safety cell with which anybody can design and create bodywork kits. With the current Dallara chassis not grandfathered into 2012, the first rolling next generation chassis is due out in October of 2011.
With a building in Speedway, Indiana, Dallara's safety cell will cost $349,000, which can be purchased alone or with a Dallara designed bodywork kit raising the entire chassis price to $385,000, a 45% savings on the current chassis design. A $150,000 discount on each chassis will be given to the first 28 cars that are purchased from an Indianapolis based team. Additional aero kits can be purchased, but will have a maximum cost of $70,000. Each team can use 2 different aero kits per year, which can be built by anybody. Each of the two kits will consist of both road/street and an oval package. Once a bodywork kit is designed, it must be approved by the Series and cost under a price cap. Once the kits are approved, the chassis that it's used on will then be branded under the bodywork kits name, and will no longer be refered to as a Dallara.
The bodywork kit will consist of rear and front wings, side pods, engine covers and more. In addition to the chassis announcement, the IZOD IndyCar series also announced that the push-to-pass will return in 2012 with an additional 100hp boost on select tracks.
The Dallara built common safety cell will feature improved head, leg and back protection as well as improved visibility.
It's still unclear if the the 2012 design will raise the current speeds, but in a post press conference Q&A, Brian Barnhart said that it will go as quick, if not quicker.