Friday, November 12, 2010

Chevrolet Ditches V8 for New Twin-Turbocharged V6 in IndyCar Series

If there's one way to convince buyers of the advantages of smaller displacement engines with fewer cylinders, it's to do it through motorsports. And now General Motors is marking its return to the IndyCar Series with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel that will essentially replace the older V8 program. The new, purpose-built Chevy IndyCar engine will be co-developed by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering.

Previously, Chevy took part in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V8 engines, winning 104 races, powering six driver champions, and achieving a total of seven Indianapolis 500 victories.

"Our vision is to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles – and racing is one of the best ways to showcase what we can do," said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations. "Re-entering IndyCar racing will help us take our advanced engine technology to the upper bounds of what's possible. And it will also provide a dynamic training ground for engineers, who'll transfer the technologies we develop for racing to the products we sell to our customers.

GM's IndyCar V6 turbo will have a displacement of just 2.4 liters and feature will an aluminum block and cylinder heads. According to the company, the V6 will be a fully stressed chassis member supporting the gearbox and rear suspension. GM said more technical details and specifications will be released at a later date.

"Our return to IndyCar as Chevrolet enters its centennial year is natural," says Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. "At the same time this engine program will be a showcase for the efficient and powerful engine technologies that parallel new Chevrolet vehicles like the Camaro, all-new Cruze compact and Equinox crossover."

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