Gen3 will see Supercars move to using an electronic gear shift system.
The new-generation Supercar is set to roll out for the 2022 season, with on-track testing slated to begin in August this year.
A hotly debated part of the Gen3 concept revolves around gear shifting.
A purposed switch from the current manual sequential stick shift to a GT3-esque paddle shift has been met by stout opposition from fans and drivers alike.
However, despite no firm confirmation from Supercars on whether paddle shift technology will replace the current model, the Australian series will use electronic gear shifting in their new cars.
“It will be electronic shift, whatever happens, there will be an electronic actuator on the gearbox that will actually make the shift,” Supercars’ Head of Motorsport, Adrian Burgess, told Motorsport.com.
“The only difference is whether the signal is coming from a flipper on the steering wheel or from the lever.
“We’ll test both of those systems when the prototypes are up and running.”
Burgess emphasised that the move to an electronic gear shift will prolong the life of gearboxes and reduce wear and tear of the engine.
Overall, an electronic system should reduce costs for each team.
“For the long life of the gearbox and the engine, this is why you want electronic shifts – it will protect the engine and protect it from over-revs,” Burgess said.
“With the current system, the driver can over-rev and we do see huge differences from one team to another in how good their drivers are at protecting the engine.”
There are concerns from fans and drivers that an electronic gear box will lead to the introduction of an automatic blip system.
An auto blip will eliminate the need for drivers to heel-and-toe on downshifts, a rare feature in modern motorsport.
Burgess says a decision on bringing auto blip in for Gen3 is yet to be made, but added that fan feedback and the ‘show’ aspect of the series will be taken onboard when making the choice.
“So, we can do any of them. We can leave the gearbox as is and just have a gear lever and let the driver do the blip,” he said.
“Or, if we want to save costs and we want to protect the engines better, and we want more life out of the gearboxes, then we go to the other extreme where you take control of the blip and you have a paddle shift gearbox.
“It’s a big debate. Is it the show? Should it be in the driver’s hands? Should it be in the hands of the software writers?
“We obviously understand the fan base is vocal, and as it should be, so all these things will be taken into account when we make a decision.”