As RACER revealed in June, Honda Performance Development has been busy developing a new-for-2014 customer LMP1 engine for use in the World Endurance Championship, and now the first image of the IndyCar-based powerplant has been revealed.
Final displacement for the turbocharged V6 has yet to be determined, but it could come in at the same 2.2-liters used in the direct-injection open-wheel mill. (See comparison below).
The use of a single turbocharger – also a commonality with the current IndyCar engine – will be maintained, albeit in a different layout that looks familiar to the high-mounted units Formula 1 engine manufacturers will employ starting next season.
HPD vice president Steve Eriksen previously told RACER that its new P1 motor would come with an accompanying Magneti Marelli-built energy recovery system, but it the introduction of that unit will now be delayed by one year, coming instead for 2015.
“This is an exciting new program for HPD and our customer teams in the World Endurance Championship, as it brings manufacturer-level engine technology to privateer teams,” said Eriksen. “A small-displacement, direct-injection, turbocharged engine with a range of energy recovery options will provide private teams with the technical sophistication they need to compete under the challenging new LMP1 regulations.”
When the Magneti Marelli ERS system does appear, it's expected to be used in multiple applications, including Acura's NSX, which is being prepared for GT competition, and, possibly, in the IndyCar Series when it opens its regulations toward the end of the decade.
“The new [P1] rules say that if you are a private team, you can either run without energy recovery systems or choose to add the level of energy recovery that best suits your needs,” added Eriksen. “This will allow our customers to choose the ERS solution that meets their needs – everything from no energy recovery up to the full eight Megajoule maximum.
“This new regulation direction that is more conscious of environmental technologies will encourage HPD to participate from the perspectives of both developing future technologies and nurturing engineers.”
No mention was made of the bespoke, Wirth Research/HPD P1 coupe for 2014, but a future announcement on the topic is expected.