Supercars continues engine development ahead of Gen3 changes

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As the Gen3 era of the Australian Supercars series is ushered in, the racing championship has released details about the upcoming powertrain changes and the continued development program.

The V8s for the Gen3 rule set will consist of a 5.4-liter Ford engine built by Mostech Race Engines, and a 5.7-liter GM engine built by KRE Race Engines. Both powerplants will output an estimated 608ps, slightly less power than the current engines which are capable of around 654ps at a limited 7,500rpm.

Presently, engines are rebuilt after 4,000km, but after the changes, the series is aiming to more than double the life expectancy of the powertrain, reaching 10,000km of racing before a full rebuild is needed.

“At the moment, engines are stressed to within an inch of their life,” commented Supercars head of motorsport Adrian Burgess. “Taking 50 to 60 horsepower out of the engine allows us to go with a slightly different architecture, it allows us to push the engines for longer in its service life and interval life.

The engine changes come in alignment with a major 60-70% drop in downforce to achieve closer racing between drivers and teams, with cars set to look more like their road-going counterparts that the bodies are modelled on.

“There’s no requirement for 659 horsepower,” explained Burgess. “We can bring the engine down to the high 500s or [low]600s and still be as quick. When we’re looking at removing the amount of downforce and drag that we will remove, equally when you do the maths, you don’t need as much ps to achieve the same speed at the end of Conrod Straight, for example.”

The Supercars series hopes that by running engines that aren’t as highly strung, it will help teams avoid costly rebuilds during the season, alongside being more market-relevant to the manufacturers.

“They’re very finely-tuned engines which have been developed over a long period of time,” continued Burgess. “They’re the most highly-developed V8s in the world. We don’t need to be operating that close to the line. We’re getting engines doing over 5,000km, which we weren’t doing a couple of years ago.”

Due to the powertrain changes, and now with a different airbox and exhaust, the Gen3 cars are set to sound different too, with less induction noise.

“We’re comfortable with the exhaust system we’re designing at the moment, we’ve got the ability to shorten or lengthen the muffler, or even run without it at certain places,” said Burgess.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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