IRL: Aurora V8 progress update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE IRL AURORA V8 READY FOR TESTING Note to Editors: This is the third in a series of progress reports on development of Oldsmobile's Motorsport Aurora V8 for Indy Racing League competition in ...



Note to Editors: This is the third in a series of progress reports on development of Oldsmobile's Motorsport Aurora V8 for Indy Racing League competition in 1997.

Lansing, Mich. -- While Indy car teams are preparing for the start of the 1996-97 Indy Racing League season at New Hampshire International Speedway on August 18, GM engineers are gearing up for the first dyno tests of the new IRL Motorsport Aurora V8. Following the completion of dynamometer and track tests, Oldsmobile's advanced Aurora V8 will make its Indy car competition debut in January 1997 when the IRL's new 4.0-liter production-based engine formula takes effect.

"The first Aurora V8 designed specifically for IRL competition will be on the dyno in a matter of weeks," said GM Motorsports engineer Ed Keating. "All of the major GM-designed engine components -- the aluminum cylinder case, four-valve cylinder heads, and covers for the dual overhead cams and camshaft drive chains -- are being machined for final assembly."

GM Motorsports is establishing a distribution system for assembled engines and complete engine parts kits through designated engine builders. An assembly manual is being produced with technical specifications and detailed instructions on preparing Aurora V8 competition engines. This manual will be available to professional engine builders and racing teams.

The success of the Aurora V8 in IMSA road racing gave GM engineers a head start on development of a new methanol-fueled version for IRL competition. Aurora V8 engines have already won four IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship races -- including the Daytona 24-hour and Sebring 12-hour endurance races -- and six Exxon Supreme GT events in 1996. Oldsmobile leads the Manufacturers Championship standings in both IMSA divisions.

While the new IRL Motorsport Aurora V8 has been specifically designed to withstand the demands of high-speed Indy car racing and to meet the IRL engine regulations, it retains a close kinship with the 4.0-liter/250-horsepower DOHC production version that is available exclusively in Oldsmobile's performance luxury sedan. The IRL Motorsport Aurora V8 is engineered specifically for use as a stressed member in a single-seat racing car, with a strong emphasis on compact size, light weight, and high-rpm reliability.

The following are technical features shared by the production Aurora V8 and the new IRL racing version:

 Displacement:                 4.0 liters (244ci)
 "V" Angle:                    90 degrees
 Cylinder Bore Spacing:        102mm
 Camshaft Drive:               Chain
 Valves per Cylinder:          4
 Valvetrain:                   Dual overhead cams
 Cylinder Head Material:       Aluminum
 Cylinder Case Material:       Aluminum
 Cylinder Liners:              "Dry" iron
 Crankshaft Design:            90 degrees
 Fuel System:                  Sequential EFI

The following are some of the differences between the production and Indy car versions:

 Feature             Production Aurora V8     IRL Aurora V8
 Maximum rpm:        6,000                    10,500
 Fuel:               Unleaded gasoline        Methanol
 Bore Diameter:      87mm                     93mm
 Deck Height:        8.84"                    8.1"
 Compression Ratio:  10.3:1                   13-15:1
 Throttle System:    Throttle Body            Individual Runner
 Lubrication System: Wet Sump                 Dry Sump

As previously announced, Oldsmobile will conduct initial track tests of the IRL Motorsport Aurora V8 with four teams when IRL-spec chassis become available. Treadway Racing and Team Menard will test the Aurora V8 in the G Force chassis, while A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Team Scandia will utilize Dallara chassis.

"The Aurora's sophisticated V8 powertrain gives it a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace," commented Aurora Brand Manager John Gatt. "Aurora owners enjoy the smoothness, responsiveness and performance of a multi-valve V8 for about the same price our competition charges for a six-cylinder engine. We are eager to showcase the capabilities of the Aurora V8 by participating in the Indy Racing League with a production-based powerplant in 1997."

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E-mail from: Rick Voegelin, 21-Aug-1996

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