Formula 1 is joining the engine downsizing movement next year, with brand new 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines in play. This video of a 2014 Mercedes-Benz AMG V6 F1 Power Unit running a virtual lap around the Monza track gives us an idea of how the revamped F1 grid will sound like next season.
It’s not quite as high-pitched as the current 2.4 litre V8s, which, in itself is rather tame compared to wild old V10s and V12s from years before. Blame that on the imposed 15,000 rpm limit. Aside from the pitch though, it doesn’t sound all bad, does it? Have a listen and voice your comments below.
Notice the many gearchanges (more than you’d hear in current cars) throughout the lap? Get used to it, as next year’s cars will have an eight-speed gearbox, one more than before. No biggie for Mercedes-Benz, as the company has already launched its nine-speed 9G-TRONIC transmission for its road cars.
If you’re wondering why the ‘car’ is invisible, that’s because the driver sits in a life-size F1 cockpit while in the simulator, so the projected screen doesn’t need to have a visual representation of the car. Having the wheels appear where they should, relative to the driver’s point of view, is enough for a near life-like feel.
The 2014 Mercedes F1 turbo V6 will see duty in the works Mercedes AMG Petronas team, as well as existing customer outfits McLaren and Force India. Williams have signed on to use Mercedes power too from next year on, but McLaren will only run it for one season before jumping ship to join F1-returnee Honda in 2015.
Fellow F1 engine supplier Renault have unveiled its 2014 Power Unit too, officially named Renault Energy F1. Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham will use Renault power, leaving Ferrari to supply its own team, Sauber and Marussia.