Indystar.com. Indy-car racing will switch from naturally-aspirated V-8 engines to turbocharged engines in 2011. The plan will be shared with industry executives during a meeting next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The decision left to be made centers on engine size. Two are being considered, [IRL president Brian] Barnhart said. Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development, said the debate “is over four (cylinders) or six.” “But both of them include turbos,” Barnhart said. “One of them includes twin turbos.”
The league hopes to announce specifications in December so manufacturers have two years to design, build, test and mass produce the engines. Barnhart said potential IRL manufacturers want to have technology that can be used in other forms of auto racing and “is relevant to their consumer products.” That points to six-cylinder engines since that is where most manufacturers are focused with their passenger cars.
IndyCars currently run on 100% ethanol; Honda is the sole engine provider. (Earlier post.) For the 2008 season, the cars are using a 3.5-liter engine (213.6 cid) for longer engine life between rebuilds and additional mid-range torque for the varied IndyCar Series schedule.