What, if anything, would an engine
manufacturer have left to learn after five
seasons with the same engine formula?
Exiting season five of IndyCar’s
2.2-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection V6
architecture in 2017, the opportunities for
marketing value would appear to be spent,
and on the R&D side, gains in power, torque
and drivability surely must be infinitesimal?
“From a promotional standpoint, what
Honda prides itself on is fuel economy,
reliability, those types of things,” counters
HPD president Art St. Cyr. “Knowing that we
are up against the limit, every step we make
is a testament to what we do at Honda. And
that type of activity translates into the way
we approach it, the results of more power
for less displacement and fuel economy
translates into our road cars as well.
“So there is still that link of how we can
learn more about the internal combustion
engine, and the downsized turbo formula
that is becoming so prevalent in the
production car world,” he adds. “I think
there is still a lot to learn from our IndyCar
racing, Mark Kent. “One of the key drivers
to get us back into this series was the fact
that the engine was relevant to what we
put into our production cars, and that
technology will remain relevant for years
to come. So we’re not advocating any real
changes to the architecture. We’re always
open to discussions with IndyCar if there
is a need to change the architecture in the
interests of improving the series; just like
this aero kit move, we’re willing to work
with IndyCar on that initiative.”
On the marketing side, St. Cyr and
Honda were gifted an incredible story in
May with rookie Alexander Rossi’s win at
the 100th Indianapolis 500 driving for
Andretti-Herta Autosport. Thanks to
Rossi’s epic fuel-saving efforts to reach the
finish line ahead of Honda’s more thirsty
rivals, the win in the biggest race of the
year was a self-contained advertisement.
“It had the two things that Honda is
known for: We had fuel economy covered
and we had engine power covered,” says
St. Cyr. “That’s the mic drop, right?”
Five seasons in, IndyCar’s manufacturers say the engine formula remains a relevant R&D platform.
After five seasons of service,
IndyCar’s 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6
engines (MAIN, Chevrolet’s Indy V6)
still tick the box on relevance to
road-car technology, so why change?
engine program, and I think there’s still
a lot we can promote, too.”
Chevrolet maintains a similar position
drawn from the road-car relevance it finds
with IndyCar’s engine regulations.
“The 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine is
relevant to us,” says Chevrolet’s director of
Chevy’s 1.4-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection Ecotec engine has much in
common with its IndyCar race unit.