By: Tanner Watkins
August 1, 2019
Announced this morning, the NTT IndyCar Series will utilize a single-source hybrid system in its Chevrolet and Honda powerplants for the 2022 season and beyond.
In this development, Chevrolet and Honda will continue to produce internal combustion engines, but the hybrid system will work in conjunction to those designs to provide power in excess of 900 horsepower – most notably, in push-to-pass situations.
Furthermore, the hybrid technology will allow Indy cars to be started from the cockpit by the driver, instead of the traditional hand-held electric starters that have normally cranked the cars from the rear of the chassis. This means that drivers will also be able to re-start their cars from within the cockpit after accidents, as opposed to the AMR Safety Team having to restart the machines.
“It’s an exciting time for INDYCAR with the forthcoming evolution of the cars and innovations like the hybrid powertrain being incorporated into the new engine,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye.
“As we move toward the future, we will remain true to our racing roots of being fast, loud and authentic, and simultaneously have the ability to add hybrid technology that is an important element for the series and our engine manufacturers.”
As a result of this development, the new engine formula for the NTT IndyCar Series will not be introduced until 2022 – a year later than the earlier projected date of 2021.
Per IndyCar, the hybrid technology will play a part in the series’ patented push-to-pass system that provides overtaking boost on road and street courses. It seems that only in push-to-pass scenarios will the cars exceed 900 horsepower.
Perhaps most importantly, this development ensures that Chevrolet and Honda remain in the series for years to come. The new engine regulations will run from 2022 to 2027, essentially locking in the two IndyCar partners for nearly 10 years from now.
“Honda is committed to racing in order to develop people and technologies relevant to the future of our sport and our world,” Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus said. “INDYCAR offers us the perfect platform to prove out both people and technologies in an environment where measurement of successes and failures is crystal clear.”
“Chevrolet supports delaying the implementation of the revised engine regulations until 2022 to coincide with the NTT IndyCar Series introduction of new technologies with the chassis,” said Jim Campbell, the Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports.
“The partnership between Chevrolet and IndyCar remains a strong platform for showcasing relevant technologies that we incorporate in our production engines, and transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom.”
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for further developments relating to INDYCAR’s push for a new engine formula in 2022.
Header image by Tanner Watkins/Open-Wheels.com.