Fans of open-wheel racing probably remember that Chevrolet supplied V8 engines from 1986-1993 and then again from 2002-2005. The automaker-supplied V8 captured 104 wins, powered six driver champions and snagged seven Indianapolis 500 victories. Now, after an extended hiatus, the Bowtie brand will return to the sport by supplying V6 engines to Team Penske for the 2012 IndyCar Series.
The Chevrolet IndyCar V6, jointly developed by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering, displaces 2.4 liters and is milled from aluminum. The twin-turbocharged, direct-injected race engine is designed to extract every last bit of energy out of the renewable E85 ethanol fuel that it's fed.
Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman of global product operations, outlined how development of racing engines advances the technology and efficiency of consumer products, stating:
Whether Stephens is right or not will be seen, at least in part, on the track.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 has become a recognized leader in implementing direct-injection technology in both 4-cylinder and V-6 engines. Building on this foundation, our new partnership with Ilmor will give us even more opportunities to accelerate our advanced propulsion technology strategy. We'll work to further increase performance, while using the least amount of fuel-and we'll also learn how to get the most out of E85 ethanol.
[Source: General Motors]
Chevrolet to Compete in 2012 IndyCar Series with New V-6 Engine
Returns to Open-Wheel Competition as Engine Maker in Partnership with Team Penske
INDIANAPOLIS – Chevrolet will compete in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel. The new purpose-built Chevy IndyCar engine will be developed jointly by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering.
Team Penske is the first IndyCar team to commit to Chevrolet power in 2012. The Chevrolet IndyCar engine will be available to all entrants in accordance with the series' regulations.
"Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a proving ground for manufacturers since Louis Chevrolet, our co-founder, first raced here in 1909," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. "Our return to IndyCar as Chevrolet enters its centennial year is natural. 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."
Chevrolet competed previously in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, winning 104 races, powering six driver champions, and scoring seven Indianapolis 500 victories. The new Chevrolet IndyCar engine program will reunite one of the most successful partnerships in motorsports when Team Penske introduces the Chevrolet engine in 2012. Team Penske previously tallied 31 open-wheel victories with Chevrolet engines, including four Indianapolis 500 wins.
"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 has become a recognized leader in implementing direct-injection technology in both 4-cylinder and V-6 engines," Stephens said. "Building on this foundation, our new partnership with Ilmor will give us even more opportunities to accelerate our advanced propulsion technology strategy. We'll work to further increase performance, while using the least amount of fuel – and we'll also learn how to get the most out of E85 ethanol."
The Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 will have a displacement of 2.4 liters. The powerplant will have an aluminum block and cylinder heads, and will be a fully stressed chassis member supporting the gearbox and rear suspension. Technical details and specifications will be released at a later date.
"We are excited to have engine manufacturer competition again in the IZOD IndyCar Series, beginning in 2012," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "Chevrolet brings a strong passion for racing, technology, relevance and innovation, which is a great fit for our new car platform. We are excited about the future of IndyCar racing with the addition of Chevrolet."
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About Chevrolet: Chevrolet is a global automotive brand, with annual sales of about 3.5 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers new fuel efficient technologies including the Cruze Eco and Volt, both arriving in late 2010. Cruze Eco will offer segment-leading 42 mpg highway while the Chevrolet Volt will offer 25-50 miles of electric, gas-free driving and an additional 300 miles of extended range (based on GM testing; official EPA estimates not yet available). Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.