IndyCar's Next Engine Will Have 900 Horsepower With No Hybrid In Sight

The 2.4 liter V6 arriving in 2021 will have 900 hp and could make as much as 1000 by 2026.

DW Burnett

IndyCar has charted a new “Fast and Loud” plan for its future engine regulations that will run from 2021 through 2026. An increase in horsepower is the central part of the rules drafted by IndyCar competition president Jay Frye and his technical team.

"Our drivers have been asking for more horsepower and thanks to the hard work of Chevrolet, Honda and the IndyCar engine group, they're going to get it," Frye said.

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The most compelling part of what’s ahead involves the year-by-year development for the 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 powerplants.

Initial goals have 900hp as the target for 2021, but the actual number the series—using input from current engine suppliers Chevy and Honda, other OEMs invited into the conversation—will build towards is 1000hp.

Using 1000hp as the desired destination for the new motors by 2026, Frye and IndyCar worked backwards over the six-year span to start with 900 and make incremental hikes until the mythical four-digit mark is crossed in the final year.

The Fast and Loud ethos will keep hybridization through KERS systems out of the upcoming engine formula. An increase in displacement from the current 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 to 2.4 liters is only part of the all-motor regulations. A change in the type of fuel consumed by the engines, the possibility of intercooling, and larger turbos have been discussed as methods to take today’s 750hp IndyCar engines to 900hp.

"The 2.4-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine formula that will be introduced for the 2021 season will continue to showcase relevant technologies that we incorporate in our production engines," added Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports for General Motors. "The opportunity to transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom is very important to Chevrolet."

Honda racing boss Art St. Cyr echoed his rival’s sentiments.

"The new IndyCar engine formula should be exciting for the fans and an interesting technical challenge for Honda Performance Development," said HPD’s president. "While the overall architecture remains similar to the current engine, the increased displacement will bring many changes, including a notable increase in power that should please all fans of the sport. In addition, it provides our designers and engineers with an opportunity for significant development, which is a challenge we welcome at Honda."

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