The most exciting part of the Indianapolis 500, the nail-biting dash to the finish line, stands to get even more tension-filled in 2023 thanks to a rare instance where a technology created for everyday family cars — the gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain — migrates to the track.
From paddle shifters to active suspension systems, the list of modern technologies pioneered on the racetrack before moving to regular production cars is long and well documented. But sometimes automotive technology travels the other way. And that is happening now as race car engineers figure out how to make a new "push to pass" system work safely and efficiently for the open-wheel cars that race in the Indy 500.
By pressing a button on or near the steering wheel, IndyCar's 2023 push-to-pass technology will give the driver a quick, perhaps 15- to 20-second jolt of about 100 hp from an electric motor. Drivers can use that burst of horsepower strategically — to fend off challengers, pass other cars and get to the finish line faster.