IRL: Indy 500 Oldsmobile facts

IRL AURORA V8 INDY 500 FACTOIDS HOW MANY? Oldsmobile has produced over 350 IRL Aurora V8 engine kits to date. HOW MUCH? The price of an IRL Aurora V8 engine kit is $75,000, and an assembled engine is available for $80,000.

IRL AURORA V8 INDY 500 FACTOIDS

HOW MANY? Oldsmobile has produced over 350 IRL Aurora V8 engine kits to date.

HOW MUCH? The price of an IRL Aurora V8 engine kit is $75,000, and an assembled engine is available for $80,000. For comparison, the MSRP for a 1998 Aurora sedan is $36,825 -- which includes the 4.0-liter Aurora V8 engine that inspired the racing version.

HOW MANY HORSES? A typical IRL Aurora V8 engine produces over 700 horsepower on methanol. Updates in the cams, induction, exhaust, and engine calibration have added approximately 30 horsepower over the Oldsmobile engines that raced in last year's Indy 500.

THE HEAT OF THE DAY. Racing engines are like human athletes -- their performance is affected by hot weather. Warm temperatures reduce an engine's power output because the air is less dense. According to GM Motorsports engineers, a 10-degree increase in air temperature will reduce engine output approximately one percent. Thus an IRL Aurora V8 that turns out 710 horsepower on a 60-degree day will produce around 690 horsepower on a 90-degree afternoon.

MOTHER NATURE'S SUPERCHARGER. Although the IRL's 4.0-liter engines are naturally aspirated, they get a boost from the forward-facing air scoops behind the drivers' heads. At racing speeds, the scoop produces enough positive pressure (1.5 inches of mercury) to increase the engine's output by 5 percent (approximately 35 horsepower).

FAST ACTION. Things happen fast inside an engine running at 10,500 rpm. At maximum speed, the crankshaft in an IRL Aurora V8 rotates 175 times per second and its spark plugs fire 700 times per second. In a 42-second lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, each piston will travel 2.5 miles around the track and two-thirds of a mile up and down inside its cylinder.

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