IndyCar’s next engine formula will make its debut in 2021. The definitive date has been set after an option to move the introduction forward one season to 2020 passed without being triggered.
RACER has learned the option for a 2020 debut, which was agreed upon by Chevy and Honda, would have been put in motion if a third engine supplier had signed on earlier this year.
With the deadline having recently expired, the Verizon IndyCar Series, its current engine partners – and any new manufacturers that might arrive in the near future – will plan towards 2021 for outfitting the field with motors that conform to a new set of regulations. A tentative revealing of the 2021 engine rules could take place in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While little is known about the finer details of the next-generation powerplants, the same general concept of small-displacement internal combustion engines using turbochargers as the sole power adders is expected to be confirmed.
The use of hybrid-electric technology is not part of the plan, as Chevy Racing boss Mark Kent recently told RACER, and it’s believed the same twin-turbo V6 formula, with modifications to the current 2.2-liter capacity limit, will be retained. Rumors of a switch to CART-style turbo V8 engines appear to be unfounded.
Of particular interest with the forthcoming rules is how IndyCar will allow its manufacturers increase today’s estimated maximum horsepower figure of 750 to something at or above the 900hp IndyCar competition president Jay Frye is openly seeking.