The FIA’s decided to get with the program of fuel efficiency and is forcing every F1 team to swap their beastly and incredibly-high-revving 2.4L V8s for smaller 1.6L V6s with turbos. On the face of it, that’s better for our normal-car tech development, but what it means is they’re going to end up sounding a bit crap. Like vacuum-cleaner whiny. Rubbish.
Unfortunately, the lower RPM (about 15,000 as apposed to 18,000) of the new engines, along with the muffling of the exhaust note that’s inherent with turbo cars has essentially ruined the characteristic engine wail of the F1 car. It’s a much more drastic change than the one that took us from the V10s to the V8s we had to deal with in 2006, and I just hope it’s not going to screw-up the wheel-to-wheel racing. The engine is more complicated, so expect more engine failures especially at the start.
It’s not like the engines are lacking power, of course, and with KERS they should develop something in the region of 750HP, but there’s just something missing when it comes to the visceral ear-bursting sound. It’s worth noting, though, that this Mercedes V6 recording is from an engine just mounted to a rig, not in a car actually on a track, so hopefully it’ll sound a little better once it’s on the tarmac. Renault’s sounded a bit better earlier this year, but not by much. [Wired]
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