IndyCar delays hybrid racers to 2023

The pandemic has pushed back the necessary engine.

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

You’ll have to wait a while longer before IndyCar embraces eco-friendly racing. The AP reports that IndyCar has delayed the adoption of hybrid engines by roughly a year, to 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The electric-assisted 2.4L twin-turbo V6 simply wasn’t going to be ready in time with coronavirus-related constraints in place.

For now, IndyCar will continue to use conventional engines from Chevrolet and Honda. The two automakers have extended their engine deals through 2028.

Honda performance division President Ted Klaus characterized hybrids as essential, saying they were a “bridge to the future.” However, there’s also a certain amount of social pressure. With the electric Formula E league gaining traction (helped by Honda’s Formula 1 exit) and more governments planning to end sales of combustion engine vehicles, IndyCar risked looking out of touch if it stuck to purely gas-based engines.