IndyCar will start using 900-horsepower hybrid powertrains in 2022

indycar racing to add hybrid powertrain in 2022Another race series is trying to go green. IndyCar will add hybrid powertrains as part of a major overhaul of its engine designs for 2022. The series, which is built around the legendary Indianapolis 500 race, accelerated the rollout of its new engine rules so it could get hybrid powertrains on the grid more quickly.

The hybrid powertrains will produce more than 900 horsepower, according to IndyCar, although some of that power will only be available for brief periods as part of a “push to pass” system, designed to aid overtaking. The powertrains will be built around 2.4-liter turbocharged V6 engines (up from the current 2.2-liter displacement), producing 800 hp, according to Racer. Drivers will also be able to activate a temporary increase in turbo boost pressure, as well as electric assistance, which should be good for around 50 hp each, the magazine reported.

Chevrolet and Honda — the only two current IndyCar engine suppliers — have signed on to provide V6 engines under the new hybrid rules. In a statement, IndyCar said it’s also leaving the door open for another manufacturer to supply engines. The introduction of hybrid powertrains will coincide with the launch of a new race car chassis, so that different new technologies can be implemented as a package, according to IndyCar.

Hybrid powertrains will also eliminate the need for external engine starters. Drivers will be able to use the hybrid system’s electric motor to start their cars. IndyCar claims this will help improve the spectacle for fans, since drivers will be able to restart cars if they stall on track. That will mean fewer breaks in the action to recover stuck cars, according to IndyCar.

The IndyCar hybrid system is similar to the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) first used by Formula One teams in 2009. F1 went full hybrid in 2014, mandating powertrains that make greater use of electric power. While they make similar power to the previous non-hybrid powertrains with greater fuel efficiency, the current F1 hybrid powertrains have been criticized for lack of noise, and for complex designs that keep the cost of racing high.

Just as automakers are embracing hybrid powertrains for their road cars, hybrids are becoming increasingly common in racing. Hybrids have made up the top class of cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the past few years, although high costs eventually pushed all teams except Toyota out. Meanwhile, Formula E is steadily carving out a niche for its all-electric race cars, and plans to start an off-road race series for electric vehicles.

Product Review

This Porsche has a turbo, a hybrid system, and enough room for your whole family

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is the most powerful Porsche Cayenne SUV model you can buy. It’s also a plug-in hybrid. Who said electrification was only about saving fuel?
Cars

Infiniti’s Formula One-inspired Project Black S may enter production

The Infiniti Project Black S is a Q60 luxury coupe enhanced with a Formula One-inspired hybrid powertrain. The 563-horsepower car can sprint from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds, according to Infiniti.
Cars

The best family cars you can buy combine practicality, tech, driving pleasure

The perfect family car should exude value, without sacrificing practicality. Thankfully, there are a host of family cars that do just that, including a three-row SUV and one of the best stations wagons ever built.
Cars

Porsche expands its hybrid range with three gasoline-electric Cayennes

Porsche expanded its range of electrified performance cars by releasing three hybrid variants of the Cayenne SUV. The range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrids pair a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine with an electric motor to deliver 670 hp.
Cars

2020 Honda Civic hatchback keeps the manual-transmission faith

The 2020 Honda Civic hatchback was treated to a subtle exterior facelift. Honda also expanded the availability of both the manual transmission and 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Cars

2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn top IIHS safety rating

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. But the IIHS hasn't tested the Audi's two main rivals -- the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.
News

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.
Cars

Vintage Electric readies the Roadster Speed Merchant, a souped-up ebike

Vintage Electric introduced the latest in its line of retro-styled premium performance ebikes for fall 2019. The Vintage Roadster gets styling cues from board track racing motorcycles and its power from a 1,123-watt battery.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are some of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Toyota raises the curtain on 2020 Corolla Nightshade Editions

The 2020 Toyota Corolla SE sedan and hatchback with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) will be available in Nightshade Editions, joining the Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, and Sienna with the blacked-out trim style option.
Cars

Here’s why your Uber or Lyft car always seems to be a Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular cars sold in the United States, and not just with retail buyers. Uber and Lyft drivers love the Camry for its reliability, according to a new report.
Cars

The electric Volkswagen ID Buggy makes even Ferrari drivers stop and stare

Volkswagen traveled to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to introduce an electric dune buggy named ID Buggy, and Digital Trends drove it in California. It's a modern-day tribute to the 1960s Meyers Manx.
Cars

Infiniti will take on BMW and Mercedes-Benz with its own crossover coupe

Launching in 2020, the Infiniti QX55 will be a crossover coupe similar to models that have proven successful for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Infiniti said the QX55 will have styling influenced by its early 2000s FX.
Cars

Limited-edition Subaru BRZ tS returns for 2020, WRX and STI get minor tweaks

Subaru performance cars remain mostly unchanged for the 2020 model year. The big news is the return of the limited-edition Subaru BRZ tS sports car, with production capped at 300 units.