By on March 11, 2015


After years of spec racing, IndyCar has decided to allow the manufacturers to shape the game for 2015. Honda, for its part, isn’t holding back.

Road & Track reports Honda’s new aero kit for the DW12 chassis pulls its influence from Formula One, with former F1 chassis designer/entrant Nick Wirth and his team at Wirth Research, as well as the engineers and designers of Honda Performance Development, coming up with the aggressive design for the road course/short oval kit.

HPD vice president Steven Eriksen says kits like the one by his company can help lead the way out of spec racing, inspiring competitors and fans alike in so doing:

We’ve had a car that is essentially the same since 2012—all cars the same across the whole grid. Now you’re going to have the visual differences across the cars. I think it will be engaging for the fans, particularly the folks that are really interested in the details. My sense is that it is really about getting back to the roots of IndyCar, where you have development going on as opposed to being spec.

He added that the initial cost of the 200-piece kit [press release says 200 pieces – CA] is $75,000, and that teams can add or subtract as many pieces as needed for a given situation, with three possible combinations for qualifying, practice and competition as a result.

The kit will debut next week at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala. for two days of testing alongside Chevrolet’s own aero kit, with both set to compete March 29 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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34 Comments on “Honda Unveils Wild Aero Kit For 2015 IndyCar Season...”

  • avatar

    That is the most Japanese race car I have ever seen.

  • avatar

    This is bonkers. Its full of wings! If this proves effective Honda will leap frog Chevy in the IRL. Is this a good thing? I don’t know. Recently the IRL has become one of the best racing series out there, competition is so close you honestly never knew who was going to win each race. Pretty much the opposite of Formula 1.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree, I’m concerned if the series becomes one sided, with most of the cars from either Honda or GM dominating. That would ruin the series.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t stand spec racing series. The reason is that I’m a *car* guy, not a *driver* guy. Spec series are fine for lower levels where driver development occurs, but at the top levels I want to see crazy thinking in car design.

      When I was growing up, we had Jim Hall and his Chaparrals, Andy Granatelli with the turbine cars and others like Dan Gurney and his Eagles. It was glorious. Even further back in Indy, there were tons of “specials” built in garages all across America. We need to return to that.

      • 0 avatar

        The problem is that technology outpaced safety. Speeds became too high.

        Insurance companies and attorneys have a large influence on racing these days.

  • avatar

    Kids watching the anime “Cyber Formula” grows up and now directs an outrageous project. Awesome!

  • avatar

    I think Honda should offer red emblems as a part of the Sport package on all of their models. The H in red looks really good.

  • avatar

    At the chance to design something for IndyCar which was uniquely Honda, the company took a no-holds-barred approach gave us a look towards the future, with some nostalgic glances at the past. With elements which could look at home on both Formula 1 cars and Civics and Integras of decades past, Honda has truly found a way to mesh both great worlds of professional open wheeled racing and flashy street racing that put Honda on the map for all true sports car enthusiasts.

  • avatar

    It pretty much follows what’s going on in F1 for the last couple of years. Still that front on photo doesn’t do it any favors. Personally it’s a good reason to go to a vintage race if you want to see good looking race cars.

  • avatar

    Ugh. New rule, single-plane wings. flat-bottoms, no diffusers, 1,000HP.

  • avatar

    No traction, much death, such wow?

    • 0 avatar

      No, much acceleration, longer braking zones, lower apex-speeds, much passing on entry and exit.

      • 0 avatar

        Yep… the good ole days of CART. Recently the IRL drivers have complained about too much grip and the series has taken some away. One of the reasons for Dan’s accident (RIP) was the NASCAR-like bunching up / draft train created by the high downforce these cars produce now.

  • avatar

    Too bad the Honda engines historically don’t last 500 miles

    • 0 avatar

      Forget the “K”?

    • 0 avatar

      This would be Honda that had 6 consecutive Indy 500s where they powered the entire grid and not a single car suffered a race-day engine failure(2006-2011)? The Honda that has won 2 of the last 3 Indy 500s since GM entered the picture? I feel for the people that take you seriously.

      • 0 avatar

        Very true. I forgot the exact numbers on Honda’s F1 engines for McLaren and Williams, but their engines would outlast numerous events. They still won over hundreds of championships. All Honda needs is Ayrton Senna again- may he rest in peace…

  • avatar

    While I admire the spirit of innovation, I have to say that each of those thin wings can turn into a decapitating missile in the case of an accident. Granted, even blunt objects like tires can be deadly, but there are restraining cords to keep the tires on the car. I’m not saying teams shouldn’t be allowed to innovate, but there should be some thought as to the safety aspects of the innovations.

  • avatar

    And the new insectoid Japanese styling theme now infests the racing scene as well. Honda, Honda, rah, rah, rah.

    Now how about their new and worrisome effort at McLaren in F1? At least Alonso can’t remember a thing.

  • avatar

    If one of those ran into a sack of potatoes you’d get a big heap of freshly cut french fries.

  • avatar

    This is why aero-balancing is a good thing and F1 should follow suit. Maximization of downforce via aerodynamic carbon-fiber appendages is not a relevant or useful car technology. The manufacturers should be working on efficiency and styling, which have a tangential relationship to the industry. Aero-balancing also suppresses costs.

    Aerodynamics personnel should not be required to think inside of a box, except for basic safety considerations. They should be able to be a bosozoku or minimalist as they please.

  • avatar

    Does it unfold to become Ultimus Prime?

  • avatar

    Most folks who follow Indycar think MORE power and LESS downforce would make for more difficult to drive cars and a better series.

    Here we have just the opposite.

    However when all that high priced carbon fiber gets shredded every week on the road courses, somebody is going to make a lot of dough on the replacement parts.

  • avatar

    It’s actually sort of pretty in an ugly sort of way.

    I haven’t followed formula racing since watching midget racers at the airport as a kid, but I think a basic formula that would encourage technology transferable to consumer vehicles would be awesome. Here’s a shot at a simple formula:

    1. No mechanical components may replaced or rebuilt for the entire season (obviously consumables like tires, brake pads, oil don’t count here). — this would influence design toward durability and reliability.

    2. Fuel quantity is limited such that it is possible, even likely, that some cars will run out of fuel and not finish. — this would influence design toward fuel economy while allowing free reign regarding weight, materials, aerodynamics, etc.

    More detailed rules could be added for each formula or series, but these two rules would apply throughout.

    • 0 avatar

      Formula 1 has been going in that direction. Last year, each entry was allowed five engines for the year and, I believe, five gearboxes and hybrid powertrains as well. This year, I think it drops to four. They also instituted maximum fuel loads last year, with the result being cars that are almost as fast as the previous year on about two-thirds of the fuel. Those torquey 560 hp 1.6L turbo engines and hybrid systems that can provide an extra 200 hp for a third of every lap are quite impressive, though the exhaust sound wasn’t, and Mercedes’ powertrain dominance led to an uncompetitive season.

      • 0 avatar

        Years ago they had one load of fuel to last the entire race. 72 liters IIRC.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s 100 kg now, so about 130 liters. In recent history up to 2013 they started with around 200 liters, and it was up to the engineers to decide how much fuel to take. No refueling allowed then or now. Amazing that they could cram 200 liters into those cars.

          You need a lot of fuel to push cars with so much aerodynamic drag that simply letting off the throttle at high speed slows them quicker than most street cars can brake. The cars were more elegant back when they simply tried to make them as light and aerodynamically slippery as possible.

  • avatar

    Can’t wait until one of these crashes* … wings flying EVERYWHERE!! It’ll surely make it on to YouTube.

    * with no on injured, of course

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