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Explore Ilmor's Track Record

Cruise through our company's impressive history to learn about all the accomplishments and partnerships that have helped us achieve and maintain a legacy of engineering excellence.



Ilmor got its start in 1983 when two engineers—Mario Illien and Paul Morgan—sent a letter to Roger Penske proposing a new company to design and build turbocharged engines for the IndyCar series. Within three months they gained Penske’s backing and Ilmor Engineering was born.

With Illien’s design skills and Morgan’s manufacturer expertise, alongside access to Penske’s Indy Car race team, the team got GM to fund the completion of their eight-cylinder turbocharged Chevrolet engine. In 1986, four-time Indy winner Al Unser became the first to race with the Ilmor engine and in 1987, Mario Andretti was the first to win a race for the company at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

The Ilmor Chevrolet engine rapidly became the dominant engine in Indy racing, winning multiple championships and Indy 500s with stunning performance and reliability.

Ilmor Indy Engine

Off to the Races


In 1993, Ilmor partnered with Mercedes to introduce a ‘pushrod’ engine, built specifically for the Indy 500. The MB-500I engine was perhaps the most powerful and innovative engine in the nearly 100-year history of the race, and Al Unser Jr. drove it to victory in 1994.

Riding high on the Indy success, Ilmor expanded its partnership with Mercedes-Benz to design and develop a Formula One engine that went on to win the F1 World Championship with McLaren in 1998 and 1999. Additionally, in 1998, Ilmor broadened their business with Ilmor Special Projects Group (SPG), and began working on a NASCAR program with Daimler Chrysler. This was followed by two motorcycle projects for Triumph and Harley Davidson and the development of a defense used drone engine.

In 1998, the Ilmor US headquarters expanded into a custom built 28,000 sq. ft. facility in Plymouth, MI that housed design, engineering, engine build, dyno, and development capabilities.

1990s Open Wheel Racing

Moving Into New Territory


At the end of the 2000 season, Ilmor entered the Indy Racing League and began development of a GM-designed engine, which won the Indy 500 in both 2001 and 2002. 2002 also saw the beginning of new relationship with Honda Performance Development (HPD). After the death of Paul Morgan in 2001, Ilmor’s UK division was sold to Mercedes-Benz, and Penske and Illien re-purchased the Special Projects Group, including the rights to the Ilmor name. In 2011, Ilmor concluded its eight-year partnership with Honda that yielded 127 wins across eight seasons. Ilmor again partnered with Chevrolet in 2012 to create a new 2.2L, twin turbo IndyCar engine which has won 64 IndyCar races, four IndyCar driver’s championships, and six IndyCar Manufacturers Series championships to date through the end of the 2020 season.

In 2015, Ilmor began racing in the ARCA Racing Series at the ARCA Daytona 200. Ilmor entered the TransAm series, winning over 10 TA2 class races and capturing the 2016 Drivers Championship. In 2018 Ilmor expanded into the NASCAR Truck Series with the Ilmor 396 engine.

Ilmor Indy Car

Making Waves in the Marine Industry


In 2002, Ilmor entered the high performance marine world, building race engines for the “SuperCat” Offshore Racing Series of the American Power Boat Association. The Ilmor marine division has become a well-established supplier to the global marine market. In 2009, Ilmor created a new generation of MV10 marine products and the new INDY® Sterndrive. In 2010 Ilmor began production of MV8 engines for the MasterCraft Boat Company at its new 50,000 sq. ft. marine manufacturing headquarters in Mooresville, NC. By 2011, Ilmor Marine became the exclusive engine supplier to MasterCraft and launched MV8 7.4L engine. Ilmor High Performance Marine gained attention in 2013 by introducing the MV8-570—the most powerful naturally-aspirated gasoline small-block engine today. Ilmor launched its innovative One- Drive sterndrive propulsion system in 2016 and rolled out the award- winning 483-hp MV8 7.4L engine in 2017. In 2020, Ilmor produced its 25,000th marine engine.

In 2021, SRX Racing selected Ilmor as their exclusive engine provider for the series. This adds another, top quality race series to the list for the Ilmor 396 Racing Engine.

2010s Mastercraft