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Option R8C
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FOR RELEASE: November 15, 2001

New Chevy Indy V8 Engine Poised To Run Faster, Harder 
Than Its IRL Predecessor

 

Detroit - 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 Racing.

This first-hand 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 consecutive years.

The second-generation 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 events.

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 powerplant.

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 gravity."

Reliability enhanced 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."

 

 

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