As revealed by RACER.com in October, the Verizon IndyCar Series will take a page from its past while modernizing the look of its Dallara DW12 by using sleek, low-line bodywork starting in 2018.
Released Thursday at the North American International Auto Show, the first look at rough concept drawings of what the 2018 IndyCar could look like presents an interesting blend of ideas that might reshape the DW12 to look more like its beautiful understudy, the Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights chassis.
The line drawings shown here are not the final version of what will be used, but, according to IndyCar, “they provide the first public direction of the process.”
A final version of the universal 2018 bodywork, which will replace the manufacturer-specific aero kits currently in use by Chevy and Honda, will be unveiled at the Indy 500 in May. Track testing is expected to commence in summer.
The sketches point to some of the directions highlighted by IndyCar’s competition team from October. A vast reduction in topside downforce production is visible, meaning the overabundance of wings and winglets should be replaced by a more robust underwing that will assume a greater level of downforce production.
The significantly downsized (or lack of) a rear wheel guard is also notable, and in some sketches, the size of the front anti-wheel intrusion fin on the leading edge of the underwing – the unpopular piece known as the “sponsor blocker” – also varies in height.
Whatever the final universal kit ends up being, it will require cooperation from Chevy and Honda to adjust some of the ancillary items in the sidepods and engine bay – from radiators to exhaust systems – to accommodate the new bodywork and underwing.