Honda gave the 2.4-liter internal combustion component of the next-generation (4th) NTT INDYCAR SERIES hybrid power unit its on-track debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With six-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon at the controls of the Honda test chassis operated by Chip Ganassi Racing, the new internal combustion engine (ICE) was put through its paces on a modified version of the 13-turn, 2.6-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course layout that hosts two races each year on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule.
The current, third-generation IndyCar engines are DOHC 2.2-liter V6 twin-turbo units developing an estimated 550–750 hp depending on the level of boost used. Engines are currently supplied by Chevrolet and Honda.
The fourth-generation IndyCar engine will see engine displacement increased from 2.2 to 2.4 L and horsepower increased from 550–700 to 900 hp (410–522 to 671 kW).
In addition, hybrid systems will also be introduced. The hybrid technology will include a motor, inverter, and electric storage device that will create energy recovery from the braking system.
This is an important step for HPD, Honda and INDYCAR as the series moves into the electrified era, and it was a successful day, but there are many more steps to take before the full, hybrid power unit debuts in 2024.
The all new 2.4-liter E85 bio-fueled engine has been designed, simulated, developed, dyno-tested, manufactured and assembled by the inspiring Honda men and women at HPD in California. We set ourselves these challenges to develop our people and technology here at HPD. We are very proud of the amazing team at HPD and our Honda “challenging spirit”. There is still a very, very long list of things to be accomplished before the power unit is tested in competition, but this is certainly a major milestone for everyone at Honda Performance Development.—David Salters, HPD president and technical director
Although low temperatures in the morning delayed the start of the test, Dixon and the Ganassi team completed the full list of opening-day test items prepared by HPD engineers without any issues.
HPD is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and leads all of Honda and Acura’s high-performance racing programs in North America. HPD specializes in the design and development of powertrain, chassis, electronics and performance parts, as well as technical and race support.