News and views on motorsports

Friday, April 22, 2005

Cosworth Engines

This article on shows us that Cosworth are well on their way towards developing the new 2.4 litre V8 engine for next year. The article notes that "the cost of development of the new 2.4-litre V8s has been huge." No shit, sir.

The new engine apparently revs up to 20,000RPM!! Even the MotoGP bikes don't get anywhere near that figure. This is possible with shorter cranks on the Cosworth V8, thus improving rigidity. So who said fewer cylinders would lead to lower engine speeds? Imagine what BMW will be pulling out of the hat. 21k? 22k RPMs perhaps?

Given that engines are a huge portion in a Formula 1 teams budget, wouldn't it make sense to limit these engine makers a bit? Perhaps installing mandatory FIA limiters for instance. The FIA talks about limiting engine power in the interests of cost and safety. But I can imagine the new V8s still cranking out the best part of 750 - 800 bhp this time next year.

I somehow think that only rev limits would solve the problem. If power is a function of engine revs then it follows that to limit power, we need to limit the revs the engineers can make the engines pull.

Power is not only gained from better design of the engine but using better materials and new manufacturing processes to manipulate those materials. These factors add tremendously to the costs. All in the quest for more revs and higher power.

If you limit engine revs, you limit the possible percentage gain in horsepower year on year. Thus, you can extend the competitive lifespan of the engines. Last year's powerplant will still do nicely. Great news for the "privateer" teams. And great news for possible new entrants. After all, the biggest hurdle in entering Formula 1 is finding the powerplant.

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