Swift Engineering presented what the company termed its "complete value proposition" to the IZOD IndyCar ICONIC Committee earlier this week in its bid to partner with the series to design and manufacture the next-generation IndyCar for 2012 through 2016.Swift's concept #70 is the latest evolution concept and incorporates aspects of the six previously launched concepts Swift has designed over the past nine months.
“Our latest concept evolves elements from our previous concepts and from the direct feedback we have received from the series, teams and fans,” said Casper van der Schoot, Swift's motorsport director. “I would like to thank the fans who have provided great feedback to us through our Facebook page and in particular Erik Berkman and Dave Marek from Honda for sharing with us their data and modeling for their next generation V6 powerplant as well as their chassis styling concept that weighed heavily in our design.”
The seventh Swift IndyCar concept is dubbed #70 “Road to Indy” and displays the Interstate 70 sign in its computer-generated presentation imagery. I-70 is the main road travelling from west to east through Indianapolis.
The 70 has increased signage real estate, as demanded by the teams,” said Mark Page, Swift's Chief Scientist. “We enlarged the car's bodywork and angled the surfaces so that they present the best view to the fans. We also have a new 'Mushroom Buster; design. This promotes passing by busting the 'mushroom cloud' of dead air behind the racecar. Our number 70 model was run through extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics on our new Cray supercomputers. The Cray has increased our capability 50-fold, and we now know our car will have significantly less drag than the current car.”
Safety was also a very important consideration in the design process and our concept incorporates new features resolving many issues the current chassis inherently (and recently) demonstrates.
“The monocoque is larger than the current spec,” stated Chris Norris, Swift's chief designer. “It is designed to accommodate driver size from Danica [Patrick] to Justin [Wilson] with added padding beneath and behind the driver. In addition we have added anti-wheel lock blades dubbed, ‘Satan's teeth' aft of the front wheels, attached to the front of the sidepods. Also an anti-lift approach to the design of the front wings and sidepods will dramatically reduce the likelihood of the car getting airborne.”
The IndyCar series is reviewing Swift's and four other manufacturer's value propositions and is expected to make its decision for the next generation IndyCar within the next four weeks.
“I'm very proud of the Swift team who, over the past nine months, have put together a compelling value proposition for the Indy Racing League,” said Jan Wesley Refsdal, Swift's president. “Swift's engineering, manufacturing and commercial departments contributed significant effort and internal budget to develop a cost-effective, safe, exciting and modern look racecar. We believe our latest concept is worthy of the fastest and most technically diverse racing series in the world.
"Swift even reached out to a well-established chassis competitor also answering IndyCar's RFP, but collectively determined that under current timing and economic constraints, it was not viable to control competition in a joint-venture. I think all the chassis manufacturers would like to compete in IndyCar, but that would mean teams would have to pay significantly more to cover the R&D costs needed to remain competitive. IndyCar teams can't justify the high cost of chassis development experienced in the past.”