By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
INDYCAR revealed the first fully rendered images of the 2018 universal body kit for the Verizon IndyCar Series next season.
This comes just two weeks removed from the announcement that engine manufacturers Honda and Chevrolet as well as tire supplier Firestone announced that they would remain with the series as part of a multi-year agreement.
The car features a more traditional streamlined Indy Car look compared to the aero kit and the Dallara DW12 bodywork. The turbo intakes have been moved to the sidepods which now leaves an open roll hoop, reminiscent of the chassis used in CART and Champ Car. The rear wheel pods have been removed and the rear wing is smaller.
Other notable style changes are the removal of the rear wheel pods, a smaller rear wing and a narrower front wing.
The main feature of the car is how downforce is generated from the bottom of the car, rather than the top. That is intended to make overtaking easier as the aero wash will be reduced.
Tino Belli, former IndyCar engineer and director of the series’ aerodynamic development, noted that the design started with the desired look and was tweaked from there.
“We’ve been working on the aerodynamics to suit the look, rather than the other way around,” Belli said.
Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, gave the car a positive rating but noted that development is still in progress.
“While this remains a work in progress, we are encouraged with where the development of the 2018 car stands,” Frye said. “The look of the car is bold, the performance data from simulations is meeting targeted goals and safety enhancements built into the design will be substantial.”
A builder for the kit has not been announced and testing is scheduled to begin this summer.