This morning, at Renault Sport F1’s engine plant at Viry-Châtillon, the company unveiled its new 1.6-litre V6 ‘Energy F1’ engine to be used in the FIA F1 world championship from 2014 onwards.
The new engine’s power output exceeds that of current 2.4-litre V8 F1 engines and yet is 35% more fuel efficient. It revs 300rpm less than the current RS27-2013 V8 (15,000 rpm vs 18,000 rpm) and uses a single turbocharger with unlimited boost pressure, although typically boost will be capped at 3.5 bar due to the 2014 regulation’s fuel flow limit.
Alain Prost, Renault ambassador and four-times Formula 1 World Champion, commented about the significance of the new engine regulations “From 2014 we will bring engines to the fore and redress the balance in F1. An engine is the heart of a car, from next year it returns to the heart of our sport.”
Renault has named the power unit ‘Energy F1-2014’ to reflect the synergies between its road-car Energy range and the new fuel efficient F1 engine.
“From next year, one of greatest challenges in F1 will be to maximise energy efficiency and fuel economy while maintaining the power output and performance expected of F1 cars,” said Jean-Michel Jalinier, President of Renault Sport F1.
“Renault has pioneered this technology in its road car engine range with the Energy series. Naming the Power Unit Energy F1 creates an unbroken range, from the Clio through to our competition department.”
A simulated lap of Singapore
Rob White, of Renault Sport F1 comments on the sound of the new V6 turbo Power Unit, “The sound of the engine is the sum of three principal components, exhaust, intake and mechanical noise. On fired engines, exhaust noise dominates, but the other two sources are not trivial and would be loud if the exhaust noise was suppressed and contribute to the perceived sound of the engines in the car.
All three sources are still present on the V6. At the outset, there is more energy in each combustion event but there are fewer cylinders turning at lower speed and both intake and exhaust noise are attenuated by the turbo. Overall, the sound pressure level (so the perceived volume) is lower and the nature of the sound reflects the new architecture.
The car will still accelerate and decelerate rapidly, with instant gearshifts. The engines remain high revving, ultra high output competition engines. Fundamentally the engine noise will still be loud. It will wake you from sleep, and circuit neighbours will still complain. The engine noise is just a turbocharged noise rather than a normally aspirated noise: you can just hear the turbo when the driver lifts off the throttle and the engine speed drops.
I am sure some people will be nostalgic for the sound of engines from previous eras, including the preceding V8, but the sound of the new generation Power Units is just different. It’s like asking whether you like Motorhead or AC/DC. Ultimately it is a matter of personal taste. Both in concert are still pretty loud.”
2014 engine rule changes
- 1.6-litre direct injection Turbo V6.
- Unique pressure charging architecture: single turbine and compressor (plus E-motor allowed).
- 5 Power Units per driver per season in 2014, reducing to 4 in subsequent years.
- Strong focus on improved vehicle fuel efficiency / reduced fuel consumption :
- Fuel quantity for the race limited to 100 kg initially (-35% from now – currently unlimited).
- Fuel mass flow rate limited to 100 kg/hr max – currently unlimited.
- Potent Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) are allowed