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Tuesday, 01 November 2016 00:00

V8s versus V6s: The new engine formula

204enginesfeature

Supercars has dropped the V8 tag as it prepares to open up the series to new engine platforms in the coming seasons.

In V8X Supercar Magazine issue #95, Speedcafe.com editor Stefan Bartholomaeus takes a look at where the engine formula is heading in 2018 and beyond.

Issue #95 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #95.

Nearing two years since Supercars' grand announcement of its Gen2 concept, the time to deliver is fast approaching.

From next season, two-door body shapes and engines outside the beloved five-litre V8s will be eligible for the championship, marking the biggest technical regulation change in almost 25 years.

While no new architecture will be raced until 2018, the next 12 months is expected to see at least one manufacturer, namely Holden, developing a V6 turbo for the following season.

As big a move as it was, the Car of the Future regulations introduced for 2013 were only ever destined to provide a stepping stone to further rule changes.

It allowed new manufacturers to take on Ford and Holden, but continuing to stipulate the use of five-litre V8s built within a tight framework of regulations has only appealed to Nissan and, briefly, Volvo.

Forcing manufacturers to spend millions of dollars developing bespoke V8 Supercar engines has proven a high barrier to entry, as well as a difficult marketing sell in an era where downsizing and efficiency are the order of the day.

But while the benefits of opening the rules further and embracing the large variety of engine architecture already being raced in other markets are obvious, introducing new fruit onto a finely balanced apple cart has the potential for trouble.

For many fans, the prospect of mixing turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines with the existing V8s immediately evokes dark memories of imported Ford Sierra and Nissan Skyline turbos destroying their Group A V8 competition in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Supercars' Gen2 rules are, however, much tighter than that of Group A, which saw manufacturers produce limited numbers of hot production-based cars in order to exploit a simple formula based around tyre width, engine size and weight.

Supercars technical director David Stuart explains how the series will achieve engine parity under the Gen2 rules, while long-time engineering guru Campbell Little has his say in addition to a look at the engine options available to the manufacturers currently competing in the series.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #95 to read the feature.