AutoWeek spoke to sources who confirmed that British car manufacturer Lotus will badge engines when IndyCar debuts its new chassis and engine package in 2012. Apparently, Lotus will have a major role in the future of the Izod IndyCar Series. The formal announcement is anticipated to be given at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
In doing so, Lotus will compete with Honda and Chevrolet. After the 2005 season, the competition had not been as fierce when Chevrolet and Toyota left Honda hanging. The report comes after series CEO Randy Bernard asserted on Tuesday that he doesn’t expect that there will be a third engine supplier for the 2012 season.
To date, Lotus has yet to reveal which company will build the Lotus engines. Because of Cosworth’s technical alliance with Lotus, it is a likely choice. Ilmor will build the Chevrolets while Honda Performance Development will produce its own twin-turbo V6s.
Lotus had previously revealed plans to build aerodynamic kits for the new Dallara chassis that will be made in a new factory that has yet to be constructed outside Indianapolis in Speedway, Ind.
The Lotus Group has initiated its return to IndyCar when it entered KV Racing Technology in 2010 to sponsor the car of series rookie Takuma Sato.
"We will be using the knowledge gained from our extensive research into E85 bio fuel and turbo charged engines to ensure we extract the maximum performance. As you would expect from the company that pioneered aerodynamics in sports car and F1 racing over the years, our aero body kit will also be a world class solution. So all in all, will the 2012 Lotus IndyCar will be as innovative and revolutionary as the Lotus Type 38 that won in 1965 and changed Indy forever? Maybe – we'll have to wait and see!" said Claudio Berro, Director of Lotus Motorsport.