IndyCar set to introduce 900hp hybrid power in 2022
In a surprise announcement from IndyCar today, the series has announced plans to introduce hybrid power to the NTT IndyCar Series in 2022 for at least a five-year period.
The North American based series will see the cars fitted with a multi-phase motor, inverter and electric storage device that will create energy recovery from the car's braking system.
This is very similar to the format that Formula 1 used between 2009 and 2013 with their KERS system.
The introduction of the new system will push the debut of the new engine formula from 2021 to 2022, realigning it with the arrival of the next-generation chassis as initially scheduled for 2022.
With the new Hybrid systems in place, horsepower output is set to increase to over 900 horsepower with the current push-to-pass system (currently in use on road and street courses) set to stay in place as the method of delivering the KERS recovered energy to the drive train.
Drivers will also be able to fire-up their engines on track (during races) without the need for manual starters. This will help from a safety standpoint as it will keep the AMR Safety Team being off track for minor incidents where the cars just need to be restarted.
The move to delay the introduction of a new engine formula has also given IndyCar more time to search for a third OEM to join the series alongside Chevrolet and Honda.
"It's an exciting time for INDYCAR with the forthcoming evolution of the cars and innovations like the hybrid powertrain being incorporated into the new engine," INDYCAR President Jay Frye said.
"As we move toward the future, we will remain true to our racing roots of being fast, loud and authentic, and simultaneously have the ability to add hybrid technology that is an important element for the series and our engine manufacturers."
This move also seems to have the full support of the current engine suppliers, Honda and Chevrolet.
"Honda is committed to racing in order to develop people and technologies relevant to the future of our sport and our world," Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus added.
"IndyCar offers us the perfect platform to prove out both people and technologies in an environment where measurement of successes and failures is crystal clear."
And it would seem that there is no issues on their side with regard to one year delay for the new engine regulations either.
"Chevrolet supports delaying the implementation of the revised engine regulations until 2022 to coincide with the NTT IndyCar Series introduction of new technologies with the chassis," U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports Jim Campbell said.
"The partnership between Chevrolet and IndyCar remains a strong platform for showcasing relevant technologies that we incorporate in our production engines, and transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom."