V8 Supercars has officially begun its quest to open up the championship to more manufacturers.
The category released the initial draft regulations for its 2017 Gen2 Supercar on Friday, the first step in allowing non-V8 powered vehicles to race in the championship.
The Gen2 program was unveiled in November last year, with an aim to be implemented from the 2017 series onwards.
Under the draft regulation proposal, entries will be able to use any engine configuration or body shape so long as it does not exceed current power or aerodynamic regulations.
That means four and six-cylinder cars will be able to compete alongside the traditional V8 racers.
The overall intention is to open the door to additional manufacturers who have refused to join the championship while it is restricted solely to V8-powered cars.
Mercedes, Nissan and Volvo are the only makes to join the championship since the Car of the Future program opened up the championship to manufacturers outside traditional rivals Holden and Ford.
V8 Supercars chief executive James Warburton says while the V8 engine is important to the championship, it’s equally necessary to move with the times in the industry.
“The category in 2017 will be exactly what it is now,” Warburton said.
“Fast, loud and fiercely competitive.
“This opens the same garage door a little wider and futureproofs the sport.
“As has been the case with Nissan, Volvo and Mercedes we have proven beyond doubt these core ingredients can be transferred from one make to another.”
Other core elements in the draft proposal include a regulation that vehicles must be rear-wheel drive.
Cars must also be able to produce between 85-95 decibels of engine noise to avoid a situation similar to that seen in Formula One when fans complained about a lack of atmosphere from quieter engines.
Any entries are also required to be publicly available for sale in Australia with a full four-seat configuration in its road-going version.
The regulations are set to be finalised by the final quarter of 2015.