Testing has started on Gen3 Supercars engines
The category is set to move to more modern, less highly-strung engines as part of its Gen3 rules, in a bid to slash both acquisition and running costs.
Both the Ford and GM units are expected to be based on ‘crate’ engines, the Coyote for the Mustang and the LS or LT series for the Camaro.
That will mean a move back to a mix of overhead cam and pushrod style engines, while there is also expected to be a difference in capacities.
While the current regulations limit capacity to 5000cc, it’s understood Ford is looking at the 5.4-litre version of its crate V8, while the Chevy unit could be as much as six litres.
According to Supercars CEO Sean Seamer final capacities have yet to be decided, however motors are on the test bench and parity work has begun.
“The engine development is underway,” said Seamer.
“There’s plenty of work to do, but the timeline is very achievable.
“We haven’t landed on final capacities. Our focus is on paritising them. We know we are likely to have two different engine architectures, one will be overhead cam, one will be pushrod. So our focus is on the parity and working backwards from that.
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“The EPWA [parity] formula has worked really well. We’ve already balanced quad cams with pushrods, we’ve managed the centre of gravity with engines, so we’ve got everything there. We don’t want to be doing [Balance of Performance] changes on the fly.”
Seamer confirmed that the target is for the acquisition cost of an engine to be around $60,000, well below the $100,000-odd required for one of the current motors.
The plan is for the engines to produce 600 horsepower, around 20 less than the current units, and only require rebuilds every 10,000 kilometres – more than double what the existing motors are capable of.
The switch will be mandatory, too, Seamer explaining that there will be no grace period with the current V8s.
“The current platform is too expensive,” he said. “By the time you try and de-tune what we’ve got, you’re just spending more money on an expensive platform, which goes against the point of the exercise.”
Supercars is expecting to have Gen3 prototypes on track by the middle of this year.