Photo: Justin R. Noe/ASP, Inc.

INDYCAR Announces Formula Change for 2021-26

By Aaron Bearden, IndyCar Editor

INDIANAPOLIS — Now that they’ve implemented their new aero kits, the Verizon IndyCar Series are setting their sights on a power boost.

INDYCAR announced Saturday that the American open wheel series will make the switch to 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines in 2021. The new regulations will stay in place through 2026, with an aim of reaching more than 900 horsepower during push-to-pass overtake activation.

“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,” INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Jay Frye said in a series release.

The move is a slight step up from the current 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 formula utilized since 2012. Motors will continue to turn at a maximum of 12,000 RPM.

Representatives for both Chevrolet and Honda – the tour’s two current OEMs –  took part in the announcement at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“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,” Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports for General Motors, said. “The opportunity to transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom is very important to Chevrolet.”

Honda echoed Chevrolet’s sentiments, noting the potential for increased power to attract more fans.

“The new INDYCAR engine formula should be exciting for the fans and an interesting technical challenge for Honda Performance Development,” Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said. “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.”

On-track testing is expected to begin in the summer of 2020, giving any potential incoming OEMs an opportunity to begin researching along with Chevrolet and Honda.

“We’ve talked with a lot of key executives and asked for their opinions, and they’ve all said this is a very relevant platform to what they’re doing,” Frye said. “No announcements of additional manufacturers are imminent, but it feels like we’re on a good path.”

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Aaron Bearden is a Contributing Writer for Motorsports Tribune, handling coverage of both the Verizon IndyCar Series and ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A native Hoosier, Bearden has attended races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he was three years old. He can be found on social media at @AaronBearden93.