New Honda LMP1 V6 turbo engine for 2014
8th August 2013, 13:42 at 1:42 pm #133472
Honda have revealed details of their new V6 turbo engine which will be available for competition in LMP1 endurance sports car racing such as the World Endurance Championship.
The unit it based on the engine they’ve been racing in IndyCar since last year. They will introduce a range of energy recovery options for the engine in 2015.
Of course that is also the year they will make their return to F1 as an engine supplier, also with a V6 turbo. So although they’ll miss the first year of F1’s new regulations, they shouold have gained some useful data from their other motor racing projects.
Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is continuing its commitment to customer LMP1 endurance sports-car racing with the 2014 introduction of an all-new, turbocharged V6 engine, to be followed in 2015 by a range of bespoke energy recovery options, for FIA World Endurance Championship competition.
After several successful seasons supplying the normally aspirated Honda LM-V8 engine to private teams in both the WEC and American Le Mans Series, HPD engineers and designers made the decision to offer their partner teams access to updated technology which the company believes will be necessary to successfully compete on the world stage, under the ACO’s new LMP1 energy-based power train regulations.
The new engine, to be designated the Honda HR22T, is based on the same architecture used in the Indianapolis 500-winning, 2.2-liter direct injection turbocharged V6 engine used in IZOD IndyCar Series competition since 2012, designed to be coupled with a new energy recovery system developed in concert with HPD technical partner Magneti Marelli.
“This is an exciting new program for HPD and our customer teams in the World Endurance Championship, as it brings manufacturer-level engine technology to privateer teams,” said Steve Eriksen, HPD Vice President and COO. “A small-displacement, direct injection, turbocharged engine with a range of energy recovery options will provide private teams with the technical sophistication they need to compete under the challenging new LMP1 regulations.”
A completely revised rules package being introduced for the WEC in 2014 opens the door for HPD to introduce this new powertrain system, specifically tailored to meet the needs of private teams engaged in top-level endurance sports-car racing competition.
Starting in 2014, rather than any set engine displacement or air inlet restrictor limits, the technical regulations for the series will specify a maximum fuel-flow rate into the engine, with or without energy recovery systems.
“The new rules say that if you are a private team, you can either run without energy recovery systems or choose to add the level of energy recovery that best suits your needs. This will allow our customers to choose the ERS solution that meets their needs – everything from no energy recovery up to the full eight Megajoule maximum,” Eriksen said. “This new regulation direction that is more conscious of environmental technologies will encourage HPD to participate from the perspectives of both developing future technologies and nurturing engineers.”
HPD’s highly successful LMP2 program – which has recorded multiple ALMS championships, won its class title in the inaugural 2012 WEC and has twice won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – will likewise continue in 2013 with the cost-capped ARX-03b chassis and production-based Honda HR28TT twin-turbocharged direct injection V6 engine, the only engine in its class to feature such production-relevant technology. The engine/chassis package remains eligible to compete in both the WEC and the newly combined United Sports Car Racing series in North America.
One of the most successful prototype chassis designs in recent years, the HPD ARX series has posted 58 victories and six endurance-racing championships since its introduction – and debut LMP2 victory – at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2007. At the 2013 Strakka Racing took its HPD ARX-03c Honda to victory in the LMP1 Privateer category; and HPD-equipped teams have won the LMP2 class at Le Mans twice in the last four years (2010 and 2012).
The most recent wins for the ARX came in last weekend’s American Le Mans Series event at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, where Muscle Milk Pickett Racing won overall in an LMP1 ARX-03c, while Level 5 Motorsports claimed the LMP2 class with an ARX-03b.
In addition to the new engine and its energy recovery system, HPD and chassis technical partner Wirth Research are also developing a coupe version of the successful ARX chassis series that will provide a fully integrated solution for the new V6 Honda powerplant and ERS.
The landmark 50th win for the ARX design came last year at the ALMS season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, scored by Level 5 Motorsports. HPD has also been the most successful competitor in the LMP Green X Challenge, with 21 Green X Challenge awards under the HPD and Acura banners since the program, recognizing “clean, fast and efficient” performance, originated in 2006.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. Located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines. The company is marking its 20th anniversary in 2013.
As an engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series, Honda has scored 202 race victories in both CART and IZOD IndyCar Series competition since 1994.
HPD takes part in both the American Le Mans Series – where the company swept all manufacturer, engine, team and driver awards in the 2012 ALMS LMP1 and LMP2 categories – and the FIA World Endurance Championship, winning the inaugural LMP2 World Championship in 2012 along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
HPD offers a variety of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; and showcases “fun-to-drive” products for professional, amateur and entry-level racers.8th August 2013, 15:51 at 3:51 pm #239883
I’d say that is actually a huge advantage for Honda, as obviously there are nothing like the same development restrictions imposed in the WEC if I’m not mistaken. So providing they get useful data in the WEC which they can apply to F1 I’d say it’s possible they’ll have the best engine in 2015.8th August 2013, 16:55 at 4:55 pm #239884
Some more on F1-WEC correlation: you do have to wonder whether another F1 engine supplier will be tempted to join the Endurance championship, most notably Mercedes (after all, that’s one of the key objective of the 2014 engine changes). Of course the engines are not the same, but it could be similar enough for an engine supplier like Mercedes to set up a team in the WEC and get some cross-referencing with F1, in the spirit ‘it can’t hurt, can it?’8th August 2013, 18:29 at 6:29 pm #239885
I wouldn’t be surprised if all current engine suppliers branched out to Le Mans. The new engine project can’t be cheap and they’ll be building fewer engines than ever (5 per car per year, right?) so perhaps it makes financial sense to find some more customers in the WEC.9th August 2013, 14:15 at 2:15 pm #239886
It’s definitely a smart venture and I’m sure it can’t hurt them in the F1 development.9th April 2014, 17:09 at 5:09 pm #256124
Keith CollantineKeymaster10th April 2014, 9:50 at 9:50 am #256555
Ooft that livery looks cool!
In reply to @andae23 I have heard that Ferrari haven’t ruled out building a LMP in the near future! I’m also hoping for the same to go the other way around and have more manufacturers return to F110th April 2014, 12:45 at 12:45 pm #256567
I doubt manufacturers will be giving a lot of thought to F1 at the moment. It’s just too toxic, politically, and all you see on an almost daily basis is pretty much everyone within F1 complaining about almost every aspect of the sport, including its promoter. I can’t see why anyone in their right mind would want to get involved with it as a major manufacturer, and that’s without taking into account the severely restrictive technical and homologation rules which make it very difficult for manufacturers to use their own engineering creativity and make their own car technologically distinct.
WEC is where the party is at, and I really hope it goes from strength to strength. We could be on the verge of another golden age of endurance racing; maybe even better than the Group C days.
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