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The Honda Indy V8 engine is a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V8, developed and produced by HPD-AHM Co. in partnership with Ilmor Engineering (reassembly, arrangement, preparation, maintenance, trackside support and tune-up) for IndyCar Series.[1] Honda Indy V8 was a highly-successful IndyCar Series engine supplier from 2003 to 2011 seasons before replaced by Honda Indy V6 at the following season. Honda Indy V8 was unveiled at 2002 Detroit Auto Show and assembled at HPD power assembly plant in Santa Clarita, California, USA in early 2003.

Honda Indy V8
a 2007-spec Honda Indy HI7R V8 engine
ManufacturerHPD-AHM Co. (under a support of Ilmor Engineering)
ConfigurationV8 naturally-aspirated, 90° cylinder angle
Displacement3.5 L (214 cu in) (2003, 2007-2011)
3.0 L (183 cu in) (2004-2006)
Cylinder bore93 mm (4 in)
Block materialAluminum alloy
Head materialAluminum alloy
Valvetrain32-valve, DOHC, four-valves per cylinder
Fuel systemElectronic indirect fuel injection
ManagementMotorola (2003-2010)
McLaren (2011)
Fuel type100% fuel grade Ethanol provided by Sunoco
Oil systemDry sump
Power output670 hp (500 kW) (2003-2006)
650 hp (485 kW) (2007-mid 2009)
650 + 20 hp (485 + 15 kW) with push-to-pass (mid 2009-end 2009)
650 + 40 hp (485 + 30 kW) with push-to-pass (2010-2011)
Torque outputApprox. 430 N⋅m (317 ft⋅lbf) @ 8000 rpm
Dry weight280 lb (127 kg) excluding headers, clutch, ECU, spark box or filters
PredecessorHonda Turbo V8
SuccessorHonda Indy V6


1st Generation (2003-2004)Edit

Honda debuted IndyCar Series as engine supplier in 2003 season after a CART successful era. Developed jointly by HPD with under support from Ilmor and designated as HI3R, engine's capacity was 3.5-liter. Honda supplied Andretti Green Racing, Team Rahal, Fernández Racing and Access Motorsports teams. Honda's 2003 stats were 3 pole positions, 6 fastest laps and 2 wins. A revised engine named HI4R was used in 2004 until new regulations came into effect at the 2004 Indianapolis 500.[1]


  • Dallara IR3
  • G-Force GF09

2nd Generation (2004-2006)Edit

Honda designed a new engine to address the 2004 IRL rule change which required reduced displacement. Developed once again by Ilmor and designated as HI4R-A,[2] its capacity was 3.0-liter and debuted at the 2004 Indianapolis 500.[3] With subsequent evolutions named HI5R and HI6R, Honda was clearly dominant engine, scoring 33 poles, 35 fastest laps, 41 wins totally in three seasons including 3 Indianapolis 500s. Since Chevrolet and Toyota leaves IndyCar Series after 2005 season, Honda won exclusive tender IndyCar Series engine supplier for 2006 to 2011 season.


  • Dallara IR4
  • Panoz GF09B
  • Panoz PZ09C

3rd Generation (2007-2011)Edit

This family was designed as a replacement for the HI6R but enlarged to better accommodate variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management while still generating good performance. HI7R-HI11R's capacity reverted to 3.5-liters respectively since 2007 season.[4] HI7R-HI11R engine was developed and assembled by Honda in Santa Clarita, California, USA (Honda Performance Development's current headquarters) but remained under support from Ilmor Engineering for R&D, trackside support, engine arrangement, tune up and engine maintenance. HI7R-HI11R engine supplied for all IndyCar Series teams. HI7R-HI11R was highly-successful engine with 86 pole positions, fastest laps and wins respectively including 2008 Nikon Indy 300 exhibition race and 5 Indianapolis 500s. Due to the IndyCar Series chassis and engine development freeze beginning in 2008, IndyCar Series kept the Honda Indy V8 3rd generation model until 2011 season for cost reasons.

During that time, since the IndyCar Series had only one engine manufacturer, Honda focused on minimizing engine failure and minimizing costs instead of defeating rivals. As such, the engines were moderately de-tuned. The engines proved themselves to be quite durable. There had been no engine failures at Indy from 2006 to 2010, which also lowered the number of crashes. Most of the engines, including those used for the Indy 500, were used for multiple races and were intended to last 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) between rebuilds.[5] The Honda engines were only available via lease arrangement from Honda, which, for the 2010 full season, cost $935,000 U.S. per season, per car.[6]

The HI7R-HI11R were rev-limited to 10,300 rpm and produced approximately 650 hp. The valve train is a dual overhead camshaft configuration with four valves per cylinder. The crankshaft is made of alloy steel, with five main bearing caps. The pistons are forged aluminum alloy, while the connecting rods are machined alloy steel. The electronic engine management system is supplied by Motorola, firing a CDI ignition system. The engine lubrication is a dry sump type, cooled by a single water pump.

After Honda was focused on new engine from 2012 onwards, IndyCar Series froze Honda Indy V8 engine development started from 2009 season onwards.

Year 2011 final specificationsEdit

  • Engine type: Normally aspirated, fuel-injected, aluminum alloy 90-degree V-8
  • Displacement: 3.5 litres (214 cubic inches)
  • Valve train: Dual overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, finger-follower actuated coil spring/valve assembly
  • Crankshaft: Steel alloy, five main bearings
  • Pistons: Billet aluminum alloy
  • Connecting rods: Machined steel alloy
  • Engine management: McLaren Electronics Engine Control Unit (ECU) with engine strategies by Honda Performance Development
  • Ignition system: Digital inductive
  • Injection system: Single injector per cylinder, fed by an engine-driven mechanical fuel pump
  • Cooling: Single mechanical water pump feeding a single-sided cooling system
  • Transmission: Six-speed sequential, paddle-operated
  • Fuel: Sunoco 100% fuel-grade ethanol
  • Weight: 275 lbs. (124.7 kg.)


  • Dallara IR5


On February 10, 2012 Honda Indy V8 was honoured as "North American Race Engine of the Year" by Race Engine Magazine.[7]


  1. ^ "Indy: Honda's 2004 Engine". September 10, 2004.
  2. ^ "2004 Indy 500: BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award Presented to Honda". The Auto Channel. May 21, 2004.
  3. ^ "Honda Unveils Stout Lineup to Defend IRL Titles". Honda Motor Co. January 19, 2005.
  4. ^ "IRL to revert to 3.5-litre engines". Autosport. August 31, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2006.
  5. ^ Reitz, Victoria (2006-05-25). "Leveling the playing field". Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2003-04-13.
  6. ^ "IndyCar confirms rule changes, cost savings". 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  7. ^ "Honda Indy V8 Honored by Race Engine Magazine". 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-02-10. External link in |publisher= (help)

External linksEdit