(Originally posted to Planet-IRL.com.)
Planet-IRL has obtained the first images of designs submitted to the Indy Racing League for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Chassis. The three possible “evolutionary” designs are shown below. We expect more details from Dallara to be announced tomorrow regarding technical specifications on this chassis. Stay tuned for more details.
UPDATE – NEW IMAGES OF THE 2012 DALLARA CONCEPTS CARS ARE NOW AVAILABLE HERE: http://planet-irl.com/2010/02/05/more-images-of-2012-designs-from-dallara/
In all of these submissions, it appears that Dallara has made an effort to move the driver further back in the car. We saw a major push in the mid-1990s to move the driver away from the front of the car, and it seems these designs continue with that train of thought. What is slightly concerning is that most accidents in the IndyCar Series today are rearward impacts. Perhaps these new cars will allow a car that has lost control to continue to rotate beyond 90° and lessen the number of direct impacts with the rear of the car.
Also note that none of these cars have air intakes to direct air into normally aspirated engines. This is the most direct confirmation yet that the IZOD IndyCar Series will use turbocharged engines in 2012.
The first submission is clearly a direct evolution from the Dallara IR-0x that we have seen from 2003-09. With the exception of lower sidepods and the removal of the air intake, this car is nearly identical to what exists now. It’s amazing what a change of the engine cowling can do to the aesthetics along with the modification of the nosecone back to the vertical-plane configuration introduced in 2003 (and subsequently removed in 2004 and beyond). Notice that the “fin” is back on the engine cowling as well. It’s going to take a lot of money to remove IZOD’s logo from that location!
The second submission is actually quite similar to the models that have been floated around by Honda for the past year with the sloping sidepods. The difference is that that car did not have adjustable front or rear wings in the traditional sense as we’ve seen since the early 1970s. Interesting how the nose of this car is reminiscent of the first-generation IRL cars produced by Dallara and G-force with a very boxy look to them.
The most revolutionary design of the three, this last design looks like someone at Dallara put AJ Foyt’s 1977 Coyote through a computer-aging simulation. Everything about this design is reminiscent of that car except for the rear wing, which sports a dual-exterior posting scheme such as that seen on the 1980 Pennzoil Chapparal. In my opinion, this doesn’t have the pizazz that the other two designs have. Submissions 1 and 2 both look fast while sitting still. Submission 3 just looks chubby and not very sleek.