Why was Ferrari at recent IRL engine forum?

Fiat, which owns Ferrari and Maserati, attended the recent IRL engine forum. Certainly they would not put Fiat on the engine cover of a race engine, if they were to enter one. More than likely it would be Ferrari, with an outside chance it would be Maserati.

In a recent interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said that they are planning to reduce CO2 levels by 40% before 2012. They will make it possible thanks to a new hybrid technology and Ferrari might build cars powered by turbocharged V6 engines which are smaller and more fuel-efficient. It is rumored that the next IRL engine will be a turbo V6.

“We are currently working on the development of a Ferrari that will use alternative energy sources and which will be based on what we are doing at the moment in Formula 1″, he said. KERS or Kinetic Energy Recycling System is a technique based on the brake-energy-regeneration principle and it consists of a super-efficient CVT gearbox which uses a spinning flywheel to harness energy when the car brakes. This energy will be perfect to increase the acceleration needed when overtaking or cornering.

Some people in the IRL paddock think that the IRL would be wise to include some form of KERS in their new car, but rather than a spinning flywheel that they may use in F1, a battery to store the energy seems like a better way to go. The issue would be the cost and the weight any sort of KERS would add to the car. The current IndyCar is already a bit too heavy in the back, and a heavy spinning flywheel or battery would not help any. Just a very small displacement turbo V6 may be enough.

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