The British Touring Car Championship will adopt an all-new technical rules package, designed to drastically cut the cost of competing, in 2011.
The "Next Generation Touring Car" regulations will incorporate a switch to a front-wheel drive only, and 2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine formula that rules out cars like the SEAT Leon TDI and the BMW 320si.
S2000 and BTC versions of these cars will still be allowed to compete with equalized performance levels until 2013, after which the NGTCs will have their performances enhanced, most likely through a "push-to-pass" mechanism.
Spec six-speed sequential gearboxes, ECUs, turbo wastegates, brakes, hubs, fuel tanks and steering racks will be sourced and price-capped by TOCA to ensure a reduction in spending, while a TOCA-branded powerplant will also be available for £25,000 ($41,000) per year for teams not wishing to conduct their own engine development programs.
A move to 18" wheels, coupled with a predicted 300hp output from the turbo engines, is expected to increase speeds, as is a move to slightly larger cars than currently. Additionally, a full spares inventory and support service will be offered to teams on-site at races to eliminate the need for teams to carry huge numbers of, potentially unused, parts.
It is estimated that a full car, complete with engine, will be available for around £100,000 new ($163,000), around 50 percent of the cost of an S2000 machine.
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: "The broad concept for our 'Next-Gen' cars was that they should be larger than some current ones, be more exciting, faster, safer and also much cheaper to build, buy and maintain as well as provide a more 'level playing field', meaning even better, closer racing.
"These new cars tick all those boxes and more. Of course the best driver and team will still achieve the greatest success in our championship.
"But, as these new regulations will be much more restrictive on major expenditure, then a team's greater bank balance will not necessarily equate to greater success. And, in my view, that is exactly how it should be."