The CCWS announced today that it has selected the Panoz DP01 chassis, paired with the Ford-Cosworth turbo V8, as its approved Champ Car spec, starting with the 2007 season. A total of seven manufacturers were asked to submit proposals for the new car.

While the popular Cosworth XFE powerplant is largely unchanged from the current Champ Car specs, the new chassis, to be built by Elan Motorsports Technologies, has a number of changes tailored to the evolving needs of the series.

Compared to the current Lola chassis, the new car is shorter, narrower, and lighter (by 165 pounds), making it better suited to the street courses that now dominate the Champ Car schedule. 

More info and pics after the jump.

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Aerodynamic changes feature smaller wings and more aggressive underbody aerodynamics (tunnels, vortex generators, rear diffuser). This is intended to reduce turbulence for following cars while delivering as much or more downforce as the current design, which in turn should allow for more passing. Interestingly enough, these are exactly the sorts of changes suggested by some designers, notably Ferrari?s Ross Brawn, to improve competition in Formula 1.

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A major hidden change is the addition of an on-board starter, which should allow drivers to get underway after a spin, without the full-course yellows required for tow trucks to rescue a stalled car.
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From the team owners? perspective, the new cars will save money. A 2007-spec roller will be 35 percent less expensive than today?s Lola, and spare parts costs over a season are estimated to save almost 50 percent. The cars and parts will be designed and built in Elan?s Georgia facility.

And the new cars should be quicker, too. Newman/Haas engineers guesstimate that lap times at the Surfer?s Paradise track will be 2.1 seconds quicker than today.

Prototypes should be ready for testing in mid-2006.

Full transcipt of the press conference is here.

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