INDIANAPOLIS – INDYCAR unveiled the design for the car to be used in the Verizon IndyCar series for the upcoming 2018 season.

On Wednesday, the open-wheel racing series released new photos of the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will be used by all racers in 2018. Following along with this year’s INDYCAR theme of “NEXT,” the computer-generated images are the next evolution of the car’s development process and provide more detail than concept sketches released in January.

“While this remains a work in progress, we are encouraged with where the development of the 2018 car stands,” Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations said. “The look of the car is bold, the performance data from simulations is meeting targeted goals and safety enhancements built into the design will be substantial.”

Frye continued, stating that INDYCAR will begin testing the car by mid-summer. Even with the new kit, teams will still choose between Honda and Chevrolet engines and still run with the Dallara IR-12 chassis that has been used since 2012. The new universal bodywork will also come with two aero kit packages: one for superspeedway ovals and another for street courses, road courses and short ovals.

Though the supplier of the new kit hasn’t been announced yet, the new design brings back memories of past Indy car favorites. Tino Belli, INDYCAR director of aerodynamic development, said the kit has been successfully reverse-designed to start with its desired appearance and build in functionality from there.

“We’ve been working on the aerodynamics to suit the look, rather than the other way around,” Belli said.

A key component of the new car is for it to generate most of its downforce from underneath instead of on top. This will improve racing and passing opportunities by decreasing the turbulent air that the Indy car leaves in its wake.

“We’re working on creating more of the downforce from the underwing,” Belli said. “The hole in the floor (of the undertray on this year’s car) will be sealed for the road courses and short ovals, but will still be open for the superspeedways.”

Other noticeable features in the new car images include a lower engine cover that provides “a more traditional Indy car look,” according to Belli.

The rear wing and front wing main plane are smaller in the new car look and the centerline wicker from the nose of the car to the cockpit is tapered. The rear wing in the road course/short oval configuration is lower and wider. The fins on the leading edge of the sidepods of the current car will be removed or minimized on the 2018 car.

Work still needs to be completed but Belli feels that INDYCAR has achieved “97 percent” of its goals when it initially set out on this project.