Turbo V8 engines evaluated for cost reduction

The Supercars Championship organisation is evaluating an introduction of turbo charged V8 engines in order to reduce costs.

“Engines is a big ticket item. Anything we can do to save money that doesn’t impact the show for fans, but also improves racing, we want to do. Linear springs, it’s a perfect example of how we arrived at that,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer to the Below the Bonnet podcast.

The current V8 engines from Ford, Holden and Nissan cost around €76,000 to build.

“It’s unbelievable that the engine builders and teams – with the exception of Nissan, which is an overhead cam engine – get pushrod engines to do what they do. They’re on the limit and they’re extremely expensive to build. Sometimes more,” said Seamer.

Previous plans to replace the current naturally aspirated V8 engines with turbo charged V6 engines have been shelved.

“The thing that I feel we got a little bit lost on was that a turbo engine meant that it couldn’t be a V8,” said Seamer.

“If you look at what’s going on in the US, four-litre V8 twin-turbos are starting to be looked at. I think Lexus is looking at one for their GT programme over there. If you listen to an AMG going down Collins Street, that’s a four-litre V8 twin-turbo. You can make them sound good, you can bring that excitement.

“We know that we need to deliver a visceral experience to fans. It’s got to be loud and it’s got to be proud. But that doesn’t mean that different types of induction shouldn’t be considered, as long as it adds to the show.

“Hypothetically speaking, if you can put a five-litre V8 supercharged engine in that’s going to cost 40,000 (AUD) and you’re only going to have to rebuild it twice, why wouldn’t you look at it?”

Another change could be to reduce the power output from the current 640hp.

“It’s a hard number to hit, too – if you ask Todd Kelly or some of the other guys that have brought in new engines, they’ll admit that hitting the number is not easy,” said Seamer.

“If we pull the number back a little bit, what else can we do, so that it doesn’t slow the cars down too much and they still look likely. Those discussions are going on.”