• Nov 12th 2010 at 11:07AM
  • 30
It's official: Chevrolet has announced a return to open-wheel racing, and will supply V6 engines to Team Penske for the 2012 IndyCar Series. Longtime open-wheel fans will remember that the Bowtie brand supplied engines for Indy-style racing from 1986 to 1993, and then again from 2002 to 2005. The return was a rumor earlier this week, but General Motors made the announcement this morning and offered a glimpse at what's in store.

The new engine, which is being developed by General Motors and Ilmor engineering, will be a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 2.4-liter V6 running on E85 fuel. Aluminum will be used for the block and cylinder heads, but other technical specs are not yet available.

Penske is the first team to fully commit to an entire Chevrolet-powered lineup for 2012. However, in accordance with the rules of the series, the engine will be available to any teams interested.

[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
Chevrolet to Compete in 2012 IndyCar Series with New V-6 Engine
Returns to Open-Wheel Competition as Engine Maker in Partnership with Team Penske


INDIANAPOLIS – Chevrolet will compete in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel. The new purpose-built Chevy IndyCar engine will be developed jointly by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering.

Team Penske is the first IndyCar team to commit to Chevrolet power in 2012. The Chevrolet IndyCar engine will be available to all entrants in accordance with the series' regulations.

"Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a proving ground for manufacturers since Louis Chevrolet, our co-founder, first raced here in 1909," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. "Our return to IndyCar as Chevrolet enters its centennial year is natural. At the same time this engine program will be a showcase for the efficient and powerful engine technologies that parallel new Chevrolet vehicles like the Camaro, all-new Cruze compact and Equinox crossover."

Chevrolet competed previously in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, winning 104 races, powering six driver champions, and scoring seven Indianapolis 500 victories. The new Chevrolet IndyCar engine program will reunite one of the most successful partnerships in motorsports when Team Penske introduces the Chevrolet engine in 2012. Team Penske previously tallied 31 open-wheel victories with Chevrolet engines, including four Indianapolis 500 wins.

"Our vision is to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles – and racing is one of the best ways to showcase what we can do," said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations. "Re-entering IndyCar racing will help us take our advanced engine technology to the upper bounds of what's possible. And it will also provide a dynamic training ground for engineers, who'll transfer the technologies we develop for racing to the products we sell to our customers.

"GM has become a recognized leader in implementing direct-injection technology in both 4-cylinder and V-6 engines," Stephens said. "Building on this foundation, our new partnership with Ilmor will give us even more opportunities to accelerate our advanced propulsion technology strategy. We'll work to further increase performance, while using the least amount of fuel – and we'll also learn how to get the most out of E85 ethanol."

The Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 will have a displacement of 2.4 liters. The powerplant will have an aluminum block and cylinder heads, and will be a fully stressed chassis member supporting the gearbox and rear suspension. Technical details and specifications will be released at a later date.

"We are excited to have engine manufacturer competition again in the IZOD IndyCar Series, beginning in 2012," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "Chevrolet brings a strong passion for racing, technology, relevance and innovation, which is a great fit for our new car platform. We are excited about the future of IndyCar racing with the addition of Chevrolet."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Chevy building an engine is not the only good news. They have already started working on an aero kit. GM is just waiting on final specs on the car and approval on the aero kit design so it can be tested. Also, Chevy joining means that it opens up the opportunity for Tony Stewart and other NASCAR drivers to head (back) to the open-wheel scene!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really? Whats your source on the Chevy aero kit? I've never heard of this happening... If it's true then awesome!
        • 4 Years Ago
        From what the GM exec (I forgot his name), it is already in the design phase and they are just waiting for the final word. Basically it's a done deal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ahhh gotcha... I missed it apparently... So they said that they are definitely working on the aero kit or just exploring the possibility?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I watched the press conference this morning.
      • 4 Years Ago
      WOOHOOO !! My bailout tax dollars at work! Now I feel so much better owning 60+% of GM.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Engines between ALMS and Indycar cannot be compatible because Indycar engines are a stressed integral part of the chassis, that is NOT the situation in ALMS/LMs cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Who says an ALMS prototype needs to be built to not use the engine as a stressed member? I'm willing to bet most/all prototypes do use stressed engines or semi-stressed engines because it saves weight overall (The Audi R10 does). Hell, prototypes are basically open wheel cars with fenders anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Are you saying that a stressed engine cannot be installed in a on-stressed application? That is ludicrous.
        • 4 Years Ago
        An engine designed to work in ALMS/LM can be made lighter and use less metal because the engine isn't a stressed part of the chassis of those cars. Whereas the Indycar specs (and most OW specs like F1 etc) need to be more strongly built as they in effect become a stressed part of the chassis. The side benefit in OW cars is their chassis can be lighter because of the engine bearing a part of the strain. Of course the ALMS/LM ars chassis needs to be built to wthstand all the stresses w/o the help of the engine.
        Thus Indycar/F1/OW cars are designed entirely differently from most sportscars.
        So an ALMS/LM engine would never owrk in F1 or Indycar.

        In theory yes an Indycar derived engine could be retro fitted into some ALMS cars, but would need to go on an intensive engineering based diet to reduce weight from those areas under stress in an Indycar.

        I personally miss a series such as the old F5000 which used stock V8s.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The BMW S85B50 is a DOHC 40-valve V10 automotive piston engine found on the E60 M5 and E63 M6. It was inspired by BMW's formula 1 racing division

      • 4 Years Ago
      Are turbocharged v6s the official technical format? Doesn't Indy car learn? While twin turbo vs are awesome it would make way more sense to use something that can be employed in other series... say for example a turbo 4 (BTCC/WTCC/WRC) or a 3.4 NA V8 (LeMans, Formula Nippon, Super GT, Future DTM).... It's way too expensive to build an engine that is specific to one series these days, and only F1 can get away with it (it is after all a 5 billion /year industry).

      C'mon guys, you are gonna lead Indy straight back down the same road [facepalm]
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ spin cycle

        I said V8, what do you think LeMans Prototypes (LMP2) use?

        @ Kingston

        I know the Indy series is due for new technical regulations, hence why I asked. Jesus, R&C much?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You obviously don't follow Indycar all that close. The engine spec is limited to six cylinders and turbo charging. Meaning that a manufacturer can come into the series with a turbo four as long as it meets the power requirements. Theoretically a manufacturer could come in with a three cylinder turbo engine if it met the all the other necessary requirements. Based on that, there are several current engines that can be shoehorned into the 2012 Indycar chassis.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What are you going to do with a 3.4 NA gas V6 at Le Mans?
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are not obligated to confine themselves to one manufacturer. Ultimately Roger is in it to win it, and he will run whatever brand he feels gives him the most in a particular series.

      I can totally see him staying with Mopar in NASCAR and GM in Indycar if that is what makes him competitive in each series.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally some engine competition.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So if Roger got a deal with Chevrolet, what is going to happen with his Nascar team???

      Are they going to convert too?
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, they're still going to be the only Dodge team in NSCS. Ganassi switched to BMW power in Rolex Grand Am at the beginning of the season, yet is still running Chevys in NSCS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's all about whom ever's paying Roger the most money. If they pay him to switch in NASCAR he probably will.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if now that Chevrolet is back, Penske will try to revive the Detroit Indy Grand Prix.
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