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To keep the Indy Racing League cars from slowing down next year when the teams are forced to use ethanol, Honda will build a bigger engine for the series.

Currrently all IRL V8 engines are 3.0-liters. Next year the maximum displacement will be 3.5-liters.

According to IRL-live.com, the bigger engines will give the cars more torque at low-rpm ranges and help improve durability. By running the engines at a lower rpm, Honda can save up to $400,000 with fewer rebuilds between races. The biggest reason for the change, however, is that the horsepower output with ethanol will be lower than the current methanol formula.

Related:

[Source: IRL-live.com]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Reading this article, one might get the impression that you have to increase the displacement of an engine by 17% when switching from methanol to ethanol.

      That might be true, if you weren't paying attention to physics or chemistry or anything bothersome like that.

      http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/ethanol_manual/manual1-2.html

      I suppose that the displacement change here has a lot to do with application specific criteria which this article, regrettably, has decided to forego discussing.

      Just wanted to jot down these notes in case anybody was really trying to study ethanol v. methanol, say for a school report or something like that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Audi R10 redlines at 5000 rpm.

      It's all about a little thing engineers like to call level action.

      IRL is the nascar of open wheel racing, so it's no suprise to me they're dumbing down the technology to save on cost.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It seems to me that the move to greater displacement has more to do with running the engines at lower RPM, and thereby increasing engine life, than with increasing power and low-end torque.

      Obviously, greater displacement is a simple way to increase peak power and low-end torque simultaneously. And, obviously, the lower energy/unit volume levels of ethanol when compared to gasoline would require changes in order to maintain the velocities to which fans are accustomed.

      However, ethanol contains fairly high levels of octane, even when compared to racing gasoline. These higher levels of octane allow for higher compression ratios and greater boost levels for superchargers or turbochargers.

      Raising the engines' compression ratio and/or adding turbochargers would effectively increase power and torque, but would not increase engine life.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How much slower can they go?
      F1 is limited to 19,000
      Nascar is 9000-9500.
      Isn't the limit only 10,500 now?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Too bad the other engine suppliers pulled out of this series. Competition is a good thing.