V-6 Biturbo with 1200 bhp in the near future?


The current (and possible new) engine manufacturers have met with the FIA and the FOM in Paris, in order to discuss the Formula 1 engines of the future (2021). They have already agreed on a formula: Simpler, stronger, louder and cheaper. 

On Friday (March 31 2017), the design of the future of Formula 1 was launched in Paris. All participants started with a discussion about how the engines should be like, after 2020. The current Concorde Agreement guarantees the engine manufacturers of Formula One stability until the end of 2020. But as we all know, there are many voices against the current power-plants.
The current V-6 mono turbos are too complicated, too expensive(!) and too quiet. Furthermore, the restriction to four units per car (per season) brings a certain fear to the field. Mercedes turning Lewis Hamilton’s engine performance down at the end of the Australian GP highlights that fact. This effectively numbed down the race. The general feeling on the grid is that because a driver can only drive a limited number of laps with full power, the teams feel obligated to put a leash on them. Then there is the fact that there is a planned reduction from four to three units in 2018. -Which is completely ludicrous if you ask me!- This will only increase the development costs even more. Honda representatives said the restriction to fewer engines costs a lot more than having to produce more engines. –And they should know, seeing how many they will have to produce this year, haha.-
Jean Todt, once again, mentioned the astounding progress achieved with this “hybrid generation”. The manufacturers have developed engines that have 900 to 1.000 bhp, at the moment, with 30% less fuel consumption. And they are closer than ever to the magical limit of 50% of thermal efficiency. But of course, you can’t expect Todt to be against these current engines, seeing that he had a big part in the change made. As the president of the FIA he had to make his point of view heard, once again, by everyone who was present at the meeting: the FIA, FOM and the manufacturers.
This meant that Ross Brawn took part in his first discussion (in his new role) as Technical Director of the FOM. Alongside him FIA representatives (or experts) and the engine manufactures Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda, Renault, Audi and Ilmor. For Ross Brawn, the agreement on a new engine concept, starting from 2021, is the key subject of these talks: “Before we think about a sustainable vehicle concept for Formula 1, the big question that is the engine must be clarified. Everything else depends on it.”
The first point of discussion was the road car relevance. In the future, it will only be decisive in terms of consumption and efficiency, but it does not necessarily have to include technologies that are installed on the road cars of the future. Ross Brawn justified his departure from his previous philosophy by saying that a Formula One car is far away from the relevance for the open roads because of its open wheels and aerodynamics, and therefore does not have to have a similar engine as a road car.
The next main subject was the MGU-H. Those are massively expensive and the main reason for the decrease in the sound levels, produced by the engine. Some of the manufactures also liked to know whether in the future every manufacturer must develop its own battery and its own turbocharger. Both components come close to standard components, but their development devours a lot of money and those extra efforts are not perceived by the fans.
The expert council agreed on a common goal in Paris: The costs are reduced, the technique simplified, the performance increased and the sound improved. “It is positive that so many participants could agree on a direction in which we all want to go with the engines for the Formula One World Championship.” is what a satisfied Jean Todt had to say after the meeting.  -The fact that all of them reached the same decision, so quick, should tells us just how much they hate the current engine designs.-

All participants were asked, by the FIA, to make concrete proposals, with engine specifics of their liking, within two months. An idea that you could hear over and over again, during the meeting, would be a V6 biturbo based on the current designs. These would still be linked with a strong electric machine, which derives its power exclusively from the recuperation of kinetic energy (MGU-K), perhaps even on the front axle. And all of them agree that the expensive MGU-H, which also dampens the sound, should be dropped completely.
This all should give an extra boost of up to 300 bhp. Toto Wolff said in an interview, before the meeting,  with ‘Auto Motor und Sport’ that the performance weight of MotoGP could be an example for Formula 1. In order to meet the formula “more power than down-force“, the engines would have to have 1,225 hp (calculated on the current cars). Or the cars would have to be lighter.


22 responses to “V-6 Biturbo with 1200 bhp in the near future?

  1. For the last 45 years I have experience V8, Turbos (4 cyl and 6 cyl), V10, V8 and present. BMW 4 Cyl turbos produced 1300Hp in qualy trim and a lot of noise. I was surprised to see Ilmor and not Cosworth. I assume tha Ilmor will look for a company to sell them the engine. I think that by 2021 35% or more cars will be 3 or 4 cyl, maybe hybrid or full electric. F1 will be out of tune with the current market but it will be more fun and that is F1 a show.

    • But F1 has never been in tune with the current market. I can assure you that 50 years ago, we were not all running around in v8s, v12s or h16 engined cars. By 2021 I hope that the hydrogen cell will be seen as the way ahead. Tricky to harvest at present but as the most abundant element in the universe and with an output of water vapour, once the oil chaps see the fortunes that can be made without needing military intervention, it will happen. However, F1 will never adopt the technology.

      • “I can assure you that 50 years ago, we were not all running around in v8s, v12s or h16 engined cars”

        50 years ago virtually everyone in North America had a V8.

    • “BMW 4 Cyl turbos produced 1300Hp in qualy trim and a lot of noise.”

      They didn’t produce a lot of noise. I stood 20 feet from one getting started up at the Canadian GP in I think 1983, and it was no louder than a Cosworth. The scream you get from an F1 engine is almost entirely dependent on how fast it spins – not the power it produces.

  2. “And all of them agree that the expensive MGU-H, which also dampens the sound, should be dropped completely.”

    Before I comment – would you explain how the MGU-H dampens the sound. Thanks.

    • It takes energy from the exhaust flow / turbo spin. Less energy left at the end of the exhaust / going trough the wastegate leads to less sound.
      A normal turbo has a pressure limit linked to the boost which the engine can handle. Above that, direct exhaust flow is directed to the waste gate (more noise). This new turbo takes most of that waste energy to turn into electricithy / store it. Like an electronic brake on the turbo.

      • Thanks. The problem is that loudness, which is really amplitude, is separate from pitch (frequency). A low frequency sound with high amplitude usually doesn’t sound as loud as a high frequency sound at the same amplitude. As frequency in an engine is related to RPM, you’re never going to come close to making these engines as “loud” as previous F1 engines that spun up to nearly 20,000 RPM. In fact you’re not even going to make them as ‘loud” as the first generation turbo engines which revved slightly higher than today’s. Conclusion – V12’s that rev over 20,000 RPM. That’ll shatter your eardrums.

  3. It seems the Liberty Media brain trust back track on just about everything they state. But that’s another article.

    The average F1 fan doesn’t care about consumption and efficiency. They go to the circuit to see competitive racing. I doubt may care the engines are turbo hybrids. Was there a stream of new fans because of the new engines? No there wasn’t. The solution I propose is simple. 2005 spec V10’s with the option of a V8 or V12. No RPM limit. In 2005 those engines were producing almost 1000HP at 19,000 RPM. Add a standardized KERS system that adds 200HP and you have an engine system that produces at least 12000HP, and with new development and a higher RPM probably a lot more than 1200HP. And it will be earshattering. The added benefit is it could draw back in manufacturers like Ford / Toyota or new F1 entrants like KIA or Hyundai who are willing to get involved because the cost will be much lower than even these new proposed bi-turbo engines. It would also break the strangle hold that a company like M-B has by threatening to pull out of F1 if it doesn’t get what it wants, Let me know what you think.

    • The average fan doesnt care about those things because they dont get the info. I believe last year or the year before that we got little graphs telling us how much fuel they used at that given moment. Why they abandoned that, idk. But if FOM would integrate more of these graphs, and show them more frequently, people would take more notice in it. I am no motogp fan, but they are doing excelent things with respect to the graphs. We see one, if lucky, on the onboard. Speed, revs etc. In motogp you see the same things for the opponent driving on front of the one you are “following”. This adds a whole new level to the images.

      • How would your “viewing experience” change if you got fuel consumption info? Has anyone run out of fuel since the introduction of the new hybrid turbo’s? Speed / RPM / gear which they now do. The rest is noise for the average fan

        • No they havent. And thats part of the problem. Cars not finishing is part of the game. I saw a graph yesterday on twitter which blew my mind. Image and video hosting by TinyPic
          How the hell can F1 be exciting when we’ve got numbers like these…
          Good thing Lewis was so unlucky last year or the number would be even higher 🤣

  4. Why have any electrical element is my question? It’s a dead end for road cars, we’ll be electric before too long and brawn admits f1 shouldn’t be road relevant anyway

    • “we’ll be electric before too long”

      They’ve been saying that for the last 50 years………..

      • Before tablets/smart phones happened, IDG estimated Windows would rule the computing world forever: simply because they did not know any better. Look where we are 10 years later..
        Strangely enough for us technical nerds, most people only care about getting from point A to B, in the most economical, efficient way. Electric cars will happen because of the political will. CO2 emission and pollution are the arguments, but since most electricity is made using fossil fuel, going electric IMHO doesnt help too much. It will help only if the world goes solar.
        (re) enter political will: most european countries have tax plans in place (Norway: only electric cars after 2025?) to push electric cars. I read a couple of articles a couple of months ago (yeah, I know this sounds vague) that the popularity of electric will take off in 2018.
        To be very honest: I wouldnt say no to a Renault Zoe for the run around town stuff. (on the other hand I would love to transplant a V8 into my MGB for the “fun” stuff)

        • I hear what you are saying but until the price of EVs drops by 25 – 30% they’re always going to be a nice-to-have for the more wealthy among us. Just like hybrids, they are an indulgence.

          I’m happy for EV sales to increase though – it’s good for the rare earth metals producers that I have shares in 🙂

  5. I have a simpler plan: use whatever you want as long as your engine doesn’t use more than x of joules. And the price you can ask your customers is limited to 2 million per engine.

    X should go down every year.

    For the rest you’re free. Go thorium, go solar, go diesel, go whatever.

    (Been saying this before, sorry for double info)

  6. F1 was more technically interesting when the rules had enough leeway to permit innovation and variety. With a set fuel limit of both quantity and maximum rate, why do there need to be any rules about engine design?

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