The US-based Motorsport division of Honda, HPD (Honda Performance Development), is right now under the process of developing a brand-new engine. The direct-injection, 2.2 litres V6 Turbocharged engine is designed under the premium category LMP1 of the racing cars in the upcoming FIA Sponsored World Endurance Championship. This championship also includes the most popular race ‘24 hours of Le Mans’.
The new engine is named as the HR22T and is based on an engineering which has been employed in the 500-winning Indianapolis IndyCar series from IZOD, the prime open-wheel racing league in the United States, since 2012. The HR22T is being built in order to be coupled with the latest ERS or energy recovery system which is developed in collaboration with the technical partner of HPD, Magneti Marelli.
This time in the year 2014, the WEC is coming with a set of completely revamped rules. This provided HPD with an opportunity to propose a refreshed Powertrain system for the private teams which are involved in the high-end sports racing endurance championships. This decision has been taken in order to comply with new regulations of the ACO’s (Automobile Club de l’Ouest). Starting with the next year onwards, according to the modified rules, the highest flow rate will be specified by the technical regulations of the LMP1 category. This flow rate can be combined with ERS and alternately, can be opted alone.
The Vice President and the COO of HPD, Steve Eriksen said that according to the latest rules, the private teams can choose to drive without any energy recovery systems in their vehicles or add an energy recovery system for a particular level of energy as per their requirement. Therefore, now the drivers are given an option to choose the best ERS solution for themselves according to their specific needs. They can choose anything between the range of no recovery of energy to a maximum of 8 Megajoules of energy recovery.
Eriksen further elaborated that the V6 Turbo charged engine caters the technical sophistication to the private teams which is necessary for them to contest in the race under the new regulations of LMP1.
The Honda Performance Development Company also substantiated that the company is working on the development of the coupe version of the Honda ARX Chassis in collaboration with Wirth Research, the technical partners of the HPD. The Coupe is being specifically designed to be fitted with their new V6 Turbocharged engine as well as the ERS.
Honda has been very successful at the racing championships under the LMP2 category and has bagged in a number of titles. These include a number of titles from the American Le Mans races and two wins at the renowned ’24 hours of Le Mans’ races with the assistance of the HR28TT direct-injection twin-turbocharged engine.
HPD is the racing division of Honda headquartered in Santa Clara (California), with its operations in the North America. It serves as the technical and engineering center for the high-end racing cars as well as engines from Honda. The company will be celebrating the completion of its 20 successful years in 2013.