The NTT IndyCar Series and manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda are preparing to do the first track test with their new and more powerful internal combustion engines motors in March.
Set to replace the current 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 formula in 2023, the larger displacement 2.4-liter TTV6s from Chevy and Honda have been in development for more than a year with bench and dyno testing at Chevy Racing/Ilmor Engineering and Honda Performance Development. With an aim of delivering 800hp from the outset, the 2.4-liter motors will be paired with spec energy recovery systems that are meant to add 100hp through a driver-controlled push-to-pass button.
Being ready to get on track with the new engines at such an early stage is a byproduct of the fierce competition between both automotive brands, and will come with oversight provided by IndyCar officials at every test. Once their respective testing programs begin, the intensive process will continue in the background at a variety of tracks while the 2022 IndyCar season is under way.
Multiple teams are expected to assist Chevy and Honda with the engine tests throughout the year, with the likes of Andretti Autosport, Arrow McLaren SP, Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, and others tabbed to put the ICE and ERS units to work on ovals and road courses.
As IndyCar originally designed the March test, the new hybrid engine would test as a complete ICE+ERS package, along with prototypes of the new and lighter bellhousing and transmission case that are part of the 2023 chassis updates.
But with the ongoing global supply chain issues that affects almost every industry, the ERS components could arrive after the first test, along with the weight-saving drivetrain pieces. Chassis supplier Dallara is also known to be working hard to overcome a backlog of production demands to provide the necessary pieces to carry the increased cooling systems required for the 2.4-liter motors.
Provided all the new pieces for the cooling systems arrive in the coming weeks, the March ICE testing debut should go forward as planned.