IZOD IndyCar® Series Chassis

IZOD IndyCar Series Chassis

Guidelines emphasizing improved driver safety and quality car construction were the key specifications stressed to chassis manufacturers that submitted proposals in the year-long process to produce the third generation of IZOD IndyCar Series cars. The updated chassis was introduced in 2003 and includes:

The distance between the pedal bulkhead and front bulkhead was increased by a
minimum of 3 inches, moving the driver back.

Sidepods must maintain a minimum width of 60 inches along a greater distance.

Energy-absorbent materials were mandated for the driver leg protection.


Front suspension mounting points mandated a bulkhead directly behind them.

Aluminum honeycomb core used in chassis construction must conform to a
minimum core density.

Car weight reduced to lessen impact mass.

Each chassis produced must undergo rigorous impact and load tests to meet or
exceed FIA standards. Test specifications include an initial impact, second
impact and a deceleration impact. The main chassis structure must not be
damaged during the chassis impact test.

Mounting points for the cables that are part of the Suspension and Wheel Energy
Management System (SWEMS) were integrated into the car design, and minimum
sizes for mountings were established.

A shorter, gears-forward transmission was introduced to enhance safety measures at the rear of the car. The shorter gearbox allows for a more effective rear crash structure, similar to the attenuator.

In 2008, the IndyCar Series introduced paddleshifters to all cars. The removal of a gear shift in the cockpit improves driver safety during a crash.


A 7-milimeter thick panel has been applied to each side of the chassis to improve side impact protection. The panel consists of 21 layers of Zylon, which is bonded to the side of the tub. It is the same modification that the FIA has mandated for Formula One in 2008.


A research and development program in currently underway to identify the most effective seat design, structure and seatbelt configuration to provide the drivers with the highest levels of protection. Via Delphi’s testing facilities and the use of the THOR-dummy, the IZOD IndyCar Series continues to test new seat configurations for our cars, including different materials and angles.

The IZOD IndyCar Series recently announced its objectives for its next chassis, which is scheduled to debut at the start of 2012 season. The attributes of the new chassis are: safe, raceable, cost-effective, American-made, less mass/more efficient, relevant technology, modern look and green.

More Information regarding the IZOD IndyCar® Series can be found at: www.indycar.com


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