The IndyCar Series tried something new a couple of years ago. In addition to the engines, Honda and Chevy were invited to develop their own aero kits for their customers to use on road courses and super-speedways.
That experiment is coming to an end, though, with the manufacturer-specific aero kits to be phased out at the end of this season. In their place, the series is developing its own package, previewed here for the first time.
The 2018 chassis will once again be based on the Dallara IR-12 first introduced five years ago. Only its appearance and aerodynamic efficiency will be optimized for next season. As with the outgoing manufacturer packages, there will be two versions: one for oval super-speedways (optimized for higher speeds) and another for road courses, street circuits and short ovals (with a greater emphasis on downforce). Both versions will generate more of their downforce from underbody elements instead of surface wings.
The image shows the new design overlaid with an outline of the current one. The engine cover, as you can see, will be lower, the nose is more tapered, the sidepod fins are to be minimized (or eliminated entirely), and the rear wing is lower and wider. Side-impact protection is also being improved in the new design.
While the current packages will still be in use this season, testing is slated to begin on the new design by mid-summer.