When it comes to technology no one does it better than Chevy. More than 40 years ago, Chevrolet made the leap into automotive technology when they introduced fuel injection in Corvettes. In the early '80s, computer electronics made their way into F-bodies and in 2003 they figured out how to squeeze 675 hp out of a 280-pound 3.5L naturally aspirated engine.
At this year's Test In The West, held at California Speedway in Fontana, California, we had the opportunity to get the inside scoop on Chevy's plan to dominate Indy car racing.
According to the folks at GM, Chevrolet's new Indy muscle has been redesigned from the ground up to meet the stringent rules of this year's engine guidelines. With the rpm limit lowered from last year's maximum of 10,700 to 10,300, generating the proper horsepower while maintaining greatest fuel efficiency presented quite a challenge.
Chevy's new aluminum V-8 was born with a newly designed aluminum block. A design that dropped the overall dimensions 3 inches in both width and length. Atop the new block lies aluminum heads with dual overhead cams housing four titanium valves per cylinder. Lightweight alloy cylinder liners with dual injectors per cylinder have also found their way into this tightly wound powerplant.
In addition to the five teams who are currently running Chevy engines, other teams have expressed great interest, said GM Racing program manager Joe Negri.
With a price tag of $120,000 and a useful rpm range around 10,000, we won't be seeing any of these trick fuelie V-8's in Tri-5's or First-Gen Camaros, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be cool! Having had the experience of building two previous Indy engines we're hoping for great things from 2003's Chevy-powered teams.