Chevrolet confirmed their return to the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2012 season in partnership with Team Penske, and using an in-house developed twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel. The new racing Chevrolet will be built in collaboration with Ilmor Engineering. Team Penske will also use this new V6 unit from 2012.
“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.”