IndyCar's Hybrid System Will Finally Debut in July

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IndyCar's Hybrid System Will Finally Debut in JulyIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

Five years after announcing its plan to integrate a hybrid system in 2019, IndyCar finally has a date for its electrified powertrains to debut. The new systems will debut on July 7 at the Mid-Ohio road course, the ninth race of a 17-race championship.

The system was originally designed to debut alongside new 2.4-liter V-6 engines in 2022, but a series of delays and plan changes led to the new engines being shelved after an official test to focus development on the hybrid systems themselves. Those systems have since been tested throughout the past offseason, but the series was not officially prepared to announce a debut until Tuesday's opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice. As expected, this means the hybrid systems will not be involved in the 2024 running of the category's biggest race.

Now that it has announced a date to integrate hybrid systems, IndyCar is set to become the second major American championship and fourth major auto racing championship to integrate a hybrid system into its rule set. Formula 1 currently uses a hybrid system that regenerates from both traditional kinetic energy and a more complicated e-turbo system. Both IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship allow both LMDh and LMH hybrid rule sets in their top class, although only cars built for the LMDh rule set are currently used in IMSA racing. All LMDh-spec cars use a standard hybrid unit housed in the transmission, while cars built to LMH-spec rules have more options to both capture and release energy.


The full field will test the systems together in early June at the Milwaukee Mile, capping off a testing program that has so far involved over 23,000 miles since it began in August. The capacitor-based system is expected to add about 120 horsepower per burst of usage on road and street courses now, although that number is expected to increase as development continues.

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