V8 Supercars will look to update their current engine packages after the Car of the Future regulations come online in 2013. Since the announcement of Nissan joining the category next season, the Japanese manufacturer recently confirmed that it will do so with an engine from its global road car family.
V8 Supercars will have to de-tuned their current Holden and Ford units, and the inclusion of a double overhead cam Nissan motor represents a change in emphasis for the class from technical parity to performance parity. According to COTF project leader Mark Skaife, the performance process that the V8 Supercars is currently working on will enable the incumbent manufacturers to join Nissan in running newer-technology engines.
“If Holden or Ford come to us tomorrow and say to us and say ‘we’ve got a different engine that we’d like to make into our future engine’, then we’d be up for that, no problem at all,” said Skaife.
“I’m really happy that Nissan are using a ‘road car family’ engine. In terms of having road car DNA and making the vehicles as authentic as they can be, it fits in perfectly with that.”
The current 5.0 litre Ford and Chevrolet motors used in the class are bespoke to V8 Supercars, with the blocks and cylinder heads made-to-order for the teams in the United States.
“The Coyote engine that is currently in the FPV range is a fantastic little V8, and has all the hallmarks of being a good race engine. I’d love to put one of them in our cars,” said Little.
“The bottom end isn’t that much different than the ‘Cammer’ engine that’s raced in FIA GT1 and Grand Am, which you can buy direct from Roush Yates for less than what our current engines cost us.
“Chev have certainly got a couple of engines kicking around globally too that would be better than what they’ve got now.
“If you look at the LS7 that’s being run in the SuperTourer Series in New Zealand – that package costs $16,000. You can’t pull the cylinder head off of our cars for that much money!”
A current V8 Supercars engine in complete form is estimated to cost $80,000-$120,000. The first Car of the Future race cars are scheduled to begin on-track testing after the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 race in early August.