November 15, 2001
New Chevy Indy V8
Engine Poised To Run Faster, Harder
Than Its IRL Predecessor
Chevrolet returns to open-wheel racing in 2002 with a new Chevy Indy V8.
The spiritual heir to nearly 50 years of Chevrolet performance
tradition, the new Chevy Indy V8 is also the latest evolution of GM's
highly successful Premium V racing engine family.
In the four months since
Chevrolet General Manager Kurt Ritter announced Chevy's return to Indy
racing, the GM division has made solid progress in its open-wheel
motorsports program. The new Chevy Indy V8 will make its competition
debut in the season-opening IRL race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in
Homestead, Fla., on March 2, 2002.
Racing is part of
Chevrolet's brand promise "Racing is an integral part of
Chevrolet's brand promise that says 'We'll be there'," said Ritter.
"Customers justifiably believe that racing improves the safety and
quality of production vehicles. By combining Chevrolet's rich racing
heritage with General Motors' advanced technology, we will create a halo
for all Chevrolet products."
Chevy Indy V8 more
powerful, more refined "Our new Chevy Indy V8 is a significant
upgrade from the Aurora V8, featuring a more-powerful, more-refined
package built from over five-years' experience on the track and in the
laboratory," said Joe Negri, IRL/Corvette C5-R group manager for GM
experience has allowed GM Racing's engineering team to design and
develop the major components of the new engine in-house using GM
personnel and technical resources, resulting in significant improvements
to the package and its performance.
GM's Allen: New
design will make Chevy Indy V8 'formidable competitor' "The new
Chevy Indy V8 is smaller, lighter, more powerful, lower in terms of its
center of gravity and is designed to be more reliable than the IRL
Aurora V8 which has dominated the series for the last five years,"
said Roger Allen, lead engine designer for GM Racing's Chevrolet IRL
program. "Its new performance parameters, coupled with its enhanced
chassis integration capability, should help make it a formidable
competitor on the track for 2002."
Premium V engine family
lineage: a 'checkered' past Chevrolet engines have been the backbone of
America's racing scene since the introduction of the small-block V8 in
1955. Negri traced the Chevy Indy V8's lineage back to 1986, where its
namesake made its competition debut in Phoenix on April 6. Between 1986
and 1993, the first-generation Chevy Indy V8 won the Indianapolis 500
six straight years and the PPG Indy Car World Series championship five
Chevy Indy V8 has its roots in 1995, when GM Racing developed the first
in its family of Premium V racing engines - the 4.5-liter Series 1 IMSA
Aurora V8 - to run in IMSA's Grand Touring Sedan class. The engine,
which won six races and eight poles in ten starts, set the standard for
performance both for the series and for its progeny.
Its offspring, the
4.0-liter Series II IMSA Aurora V8 (1996), Series III IRL Aurora V8
(1997) and the 3.5-liter IRL Aurora V8 (2000) have lived up to their
high expectations, Negri said. In its debut year, the 4.0-liter IMSA
engine won the Daytona 24-hour and Sebring 12-hour endurance races en
route to capturing the 1996 WSC Drivers and Manufacturers championships.
The IRL engines have won 49 of 51 races, including five successive Indy
500s, captured every pole and run the fastest lap in 31 consecutive IRL
All-new design utilizes
latest high-tech tools The Chevy Indy V8 is not only the latest in the
Premium V engine family, but also perhaps the best prepared for success.
Its all-new design - carrying over only the oil pump and water pump
assemblies from its predecessor - was carried out using the latest
design and analysis tools. While the IRL Aurora V8 originally was
designed on paper by draftsmen, the Chevy Indy V8 was developed using
tools such as computational fluid dynamics, computer simulation and
finite element analysis (FEA) to validate its performance and
robustness. The result: an engine improved in all categories of
performance and which passed its initial 500-mile validation test at
what is considered an early stage of development with flying colors. Its
performance on this test, said Allen, gives GM Racing engineers
confidence in the ultimate on-track success of the new Chevrolet
Engine design yields
performance improvements "These tools have allowed us to increase
horsepower by reducing frictional losses and reciprocating weight,
increasing engine airflow and improving combustion chamber shape and
valve timing events," Allen said. "In addition, they've helped
us reduce engine weight, with much of the weight reduction coming from
'high CG' components, which helps us reduce the engine's center of
through computer design Use of the new computer-aided tools also allowed
the team to design for improved reliability. Allen said the water jacket
in the head was redesigned to improve cooling and reduce the risk of
cracking at extreme temperatures. Computer simulation also allowed the
design team to relocate valve pockets in the pistons to increase section
between the pocket and top ring land. In addition, FEA allowed designers
to substitute steel for titanium in valve retainers to reduce wear with
no weight penalty in the valvetrain.
Teamwork required from
network of suppliers, engine builders for ultimate success While GM
Racing has worked hard to design a winning engine and will supply major
components of the engine, including the block, sump, cylinder heads, cam
covers and front cover, the group will rely heavily on its worldwide
network of specialist suppliers to produce internal components to GM
Racing specifications, Negri said. In addition, much of the work of
supplying race teams with the engines is done by independent engine
builders, who are free to experiment with other components within the
limits of the IRL engine formula rules.
"One of the benefits
of the IRL racing engine formula is that it is both affordable and
successful," said Negri. "Although we've paid tremendous
attention to detail in the design of this engine, the technology is
relatively simple. The formula places emphasis on racing, not technology
for technology's sake."
"Chevrolet is truly
America's brand," Ritter added, "and we want to win America's
race, the Indianapolis 500."