The Izod IndyCar Series*held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to unveil the all-new car the series will race in 2012. And they did. Sort of.Five chassis manufacturers submitted proposals to the IndyCar management. Many fans’ fingers were crossed for a proposal called the Delta Wing – a bizarre but memorable design that was sort of [...]No related posts.
The Izod IndyCar Series held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to unveil the all-new car the series will race in 2012. And they did. Sort of.
Five chassis manufacturers submitted proposals to the IndyCar management. Many fans’ fingers were crossed for a proposal called the Delta Wing – a bizarre but memorable design that was sort of a cross between the Batmobile, a Bonneville land-speed racer, and a jet airplane. In the end, though, the committee chose Italian chassis builder Dallara, which is currently supplying all the cars on the track.
There will, however, be a major difference in the future. Dallara will build the safety cell, which is essentially the car without the body on it. Dallara will also sell a body, but the Indy Racing League is calling on other manufacturers to build bodies, too, that would fit the Dallara chassis.
And that, essentially, was the Big News coming from Indianapolis: That the front and rear wings, side pods and engine cover designs could vary, if other manufacturers besides Dallara decide to build them.
Committee member Tony Purnell threw down the gauntlet for a variety of companies to design and build bodies for the IndyCar: “Come on Ford, GM, Lotus, Ferrari. Come on, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, General Electric. Come on, you engineers working in your garages or small shops. We’ve done our best to provide a framework for all of you to showcase your technical prowess without need for a major raid on your piggy banks.”
The IndyCar ICONIC (which stands for Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective, and no, I am not making that up) committee also announced that engines will be no larger than 2.4 liters and have no more than six cylinders. Horsepower will range from 550 to 700, depending on the track. So far, no manufacturer has agreed to build an engine, but it is likely current supplier Honda will. Others may. Engine packages may cost teams no more than $690,000.
The cost of an IndyCar will drop, the committee says, by more than 40 percent, and a total package should be possible at or under $1 million.
Lighter, cheaper, faster, and different-looking cars. It should make for an interesting season. Not as interesting as the Delta Wing, perhaps, but interesting indeed.