Renault’s ‘Energy F1′ breaks cover
In attendance were Renault President Jean-Michel Jalinier, Deputy Manager and Technical Director Rob White and Renault Sport Ambassador Alain Prost. Aptly named the ‘Energy F1’ – the power train is a reflection of the sport’s first fully-integrated leap into energy recovery technology.
The V6-Turbo 1.6-litre internal combustion engine will produce around 600bhp with an additional 160bhp available through electric propulsion via the energy recovery system.
“From next year, one of the greatest challenges in Formula One will be to maximize energy and fuel economy while maintaining power” said Jalinier. “Renault has pioneered this technology in its road car engine range with its Energy series. Naming the unit Energy F1 creates an unbroken range, from the Clio through to out competition department”.
Whilst continuing to power Caterham, the French engine manufacturer will no longer supply Williams (the Grove outfit opting for Mercedes power in 2014), but have picked up Torro Rosso as a customer in-line with an increased association with sister team Red Bull Racing. The next six moths will see an escalated push to incorporate the new unit into their 2014 designs; maximizing weight distribution and efficiency. The Lotus F1 Team have yet to announce a supplier.
Technical Director Rob White was keen to point out the acoustics of the new engine were a direct result of the new construction and bore no association with perceived performance.
“The sound of the engine is the result of the marriage of three key ingredients: the sound of the exhaust, intake and mechanics.” White said. “On one engine running, the exhaust noise that dominates the other two sources is not marginal and contributes to the perception of sound. With fewer cylinders, the engines speeds are lower, with the sounds of the intake and exhaust mitigated by the turbo. Overall the perceived volume is lower and the nature of the sound is a reflection of this new architecture.”
White admitted however that the aesthetics of the V6-Turbo may take some getting used to for some, but would not detract from the aural spectacle of going to a grand prix.
“I’m sure some people will be nostalgic for the sound of engines from previous eras – including the previous V8 – but the sound of the new generation Power Units is just different.” explained White. “It’s like asking whether you like Motorhead or AC/DC. Ultimately it’s a matter of personal taste… Both are pretty loud in concert…. The circuit neighbours will still complain!”
Images courtesy of Renault Sport F1
Trent Price is an amateur race driver, former V8 race coach and FIA Accredited journalist from Melbourne, Australia. A former Race Editor for GP Week and contributor for ESPN, Trent is now the Editor of the WEC/Formula E magazine E-Racing; www.e-racingmag.com