F1 set for four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013

2013 F1 season

Formula 1 engine design is set for a radical overhaul in 2013.

Multiple sources are reporting that turbocharged, four-cylinder 1.6-litre engines will be used from the 2013 season.

The move to four-cylinders engines has been mooted for some time and has been reported by Craig Scarborough (see yesterday’s round-up) and the BBC in the last two days.

The smaller capacity engines – reduced from the 2.4-litre V8s used since 2006 – should be much more efficient than current units. Power output is likely to be kept at current levels and augmented by the use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems.

Teams also hope to attract more engine manufacturers to the sport through more road-relevant regulations. The recent departures of BMW, Toyota and Honda have left only four engine builders in F1: Mercedes, Renault, Cosworth and Ferrari.

The FIA intends to publish the definite 2011 FIA Formula One Sporting and Technical regulations following its World Motor Sport Council meeting on Friday. Further details on the future engine formula are also expected following that meeting.

Read more: Turbos and ground effect ??back in 2013???

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174 comments on F1 set for four-cylinder turbo engines in 2013

  1. Raceaddict said on 4th December 2010, 14:23

    Next: wide tires and we’re back in 1986!

  2. Raceaddict said on 4th December 2010, 14:24

    Oh, that was a Brabham BT-55 reference

  3. kowalsky said on 4th December 2010, 14:31

    f1 has gone slowly but surely loosing appeal to the hard-core fans. I got very disapointed with the noise and performance of the current v8 engines, to the point that a decided not to go to a race venue, unless this changes. The direccion it’s gettig to, it’s taking me away from the tracks even further. I have been a fan for 30 years, and maybe this is the problem. For the young fans than didn’t see f1 in the 80’s must be easier to accept.

    • Adrian said on 4th December 2010, 15:00

      Ah yes, the 80’s when there were flat 4 turbo charged engines…oh wait, that must have been rubbish!!

  4. We Want Turbos said on 4th December 2010, 14:33

    Did I see Ground effects being mentioned in the linked article someone pinch me I must be dreaming!!!!

  5. If it is turbo charged will it still have the rev limit?

    • Adrian said on 4th December 2010, 15:01

      I read somewhere that they may be limited to 10,000 rpm.

      But with twin turbos they could still easily be as powerful as todays V8 engines.

  6. Butterfly said on 4th December 2010, 14:51

    Guys, don’t forget that ground-effect aero will be back. They’ll probably produce more downforce than the RB6 did this year, and it had the least-powerful engine on the grid (or so they said).

    It will be great, I’m sure of it.

  7. We Wants Turbos said on 4th December 2010, 14:56

    So we’ve got back all the best ‘old’ ideas now how about some new ones!!!!! That name change could be We Want Innovation?

  8. I’d love to see a season where the only regulations are that your car must have 4 wheels and an engine.

  9. We Want Turbos said on 4th December 2010, 15:28

    Power will be more variable as boost could be turned up plus drive out of bends would be massively increased couple that to cars being able to run closer together and you’ve got a recipe for success. Hydrogen + approx 200mph crash = explosion to rival Hiroshima

  10. DavidS (@davids) said on 4th December 2010, 16:20

    Have a power limit enforced by air restrictors and on a dyno, as well as reliability limits.
    That way, the area for engine development is fuel economy. Let the teams use whatever configuration and capacity they want, so manufacturers can market their cars. If Ferrari want to use a V12 so they can market their cars, Renault might want a 4cyl turbo to match their road cars. Mercedes might want a larger capacity V8 to be similar to AMG.

    Enforcing a set configuration and capacity discourages engine makers from entering the sport, because they have no way of differentiating themselves from the competition.

    The reason engine manufacturers are leaving is because of Mosley’s stupid engine freeze. BMW, Toyota and Honda had the weakest engines when the freeze began and weren’t allowed to improve them.

    The green initiative is sheer tokenism. If they wanted to make a difference, how about installing catalytic converters on the cars, instead of straight exhausts. That would be more effective than making the engines smaller (yet producing similar power, which won’t affect fuel consumption or exhaust output significantly)…but then it wouldn’t be as high profile as a green stripe on some tyres.

    • Adrian said on 5th December 2010, 15:19

      2 points:

      1) Honda reportedly had the most powerful engine when the engine freeze came into place. Only they stuck to the spirit of the rules and didn’t use “reliability” changes to upgrade their engine and so it was overtaken by other makes.

      2) How on earth can a 1.6 litre engine revving at 10,000rpm use as much fuel as a 2.4 litre V8 revving at 18,000rpm???

  11. Excellent. I’m not really into F1 as a way to just see insane irrelevancies zoom round. Powerboats are a good show of humans barely clinging on to monsters; if that’s what you fancy watching then fair play to you.

    What I like about F1 is that it’s a series in which engineers develop and innovate technology in order to win 190-mile races in what is, ultimately, a Car. Yes it has minimal bodywork and no air conditioning, and it goes far too fast for public roads, but it’s a still a Car.

    So while we bobble around the limit of speed-over-safety at which we usually find ourselves, why not make this great engineering race that little bit more useful? Why not make it so that Mr Jones’ 2-seater Merc can have a little bit more grunt in the lower revs without harming the mpg? As long as the things are still flying round at speeds at which your average mortal couldn’t dream of, then I’m all for it. Let’s have fun.

    • “Why not make it so that Mr Jones’ 2-seater Merc can have a little bit more grunt in the lower revs without harming the mpg?”

      Chances are that he already owns a diesel.

      Many car manufacturers are already producing petrol engines that do just that anyway. The number of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 turbo petrol engines in road cars is really growing quite rapidly. These are the cars that most manufacturers are going to want to sell alongside their diesel cars.

  12. We Want Turbos said on 4th December 2010, 16:36

    CarsvChildren whilst I do agree with you I’m not a fan of the middle east taking over with 2nd rate tracks… Europe has the majority of the fanbase are so should always have the most tracks. However don’t agree with adjusting the times so it’s on in afternoon in europe!

  13. Interesting article about Cosworths views on current and future engine regulations.

    http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=42676

  14. At minimum they should allow anything from 4,6 or 8 cylinder at the same capacity so we could have some variety in design and sound. F1 is gonna lose so much appeal with the sound of these engines. When I go see a race live half the reason is for the fact of the way these current high revving engines sound. Im not happy with this.

    • It’s been touched upon before in this thread that whatever the rules allow, all of the engine manufacturers will build an engine that is the most powerful and most economical allowable, just by taking each option and comparing it with another in virtual reality.

      So the days of V8’s and V10’s vs V12’s or whatever are long gone, because the optimum engine architecture is decided by computer analysis without the need for trial and error.

  15. If there are no limits on what they can do with the turbos then I can only see an increase in power. We had some Mercedes F1 guys doing a talk at our uni last week and claimed that even if they were given a 0.8 litre engine they could get 1000hp out of it.

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