New V6 IndyCar engine not as deafening IndyCar's 2012 car arrived on the sport's biggest stage Tuesday, turning its initial laps on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's oval track.
The arrival was noted by a different sound.
The hushed tone from Honda's new 2.2-liter turbocharged V6 engine is much smoother on the ears than the manufacturer's 3.5-liter normally aspirated V8. Eventually, there will also be Chevrolet and Lotus engines.
For now, Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, who is testing IndyCar's new equipment, likes what he can't hear.
"I haven't heard it (from the outside)," he said of the car, of which he has been the only driver. "It definitely takes a little time to get used to."
Observers on pit road Tuesday did not need to cover their ears when the car drove off.
"It's not got that kind of deep, throat kind of sound," Wheldon said. "This has got a screaming sound."
Project manager Tony Cotman acknowledged it will take some time to get accustomed to the new sound.
"It'll be different, for sure," he said. "But it will be good when you get 33 of them out there (in May)."
Wheldon used the recent test at Iowa Speedway as an example of how the sound will change the way drivers work.
"There's a certain rev range you always want to run in, and I'm so used to being able to hear that, that I know; I can just tell," he said. "But with this . . . it's more quiet for me in the cockpit." Indy Star