Formula One racing engines have been dropping cylinders like advanced trigonometry classes over the past couple of decades. The V12s gave way to V10s in the mid 90s. Those were replaced in turn by the current V8s in 2006, and now it's been confirmed that by 2014 two more cylinders will drop off the block for V6 propulsion.

Confirmation comes from the FIA, whose World Motor Sport Council adopted via fax vote the suggestion put forth by the Formula One Commission after consultation with the teams. The new regulations will take effect in 2014 instead of the four-cylinder formula that was set to take hold in 2013.

Displacement will drop as well from 2.4 liters to 1.6, but don't expect a big drop in performance, as the lost cylinders will be replaced by a turbocharger. The overall package, then, marks a little bit of history repeating. Until they were dropped in 1989, many of the cars on the grid were powered by 1.5-liter turbocharged V6 engines (like the '84-spec Honda unit pictured above), although this time they'll be coupled to a new Energy Recovery System that will replace the current Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). Official announcement after the jump.
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FIA Formula One World Championship Power Unit Regulations
29/06/2011

Following a fax vote by its members, the World Motor Sport Council has ratified the engine regulations recently drawn up in consultation with the main stakeholders in Formula One. The new power plant will be a V6 1.6 turbo unit with energy recovery systems. This new formula will come into effect as from the start of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season.


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  • 32 Comments
      ijardine
      • 3 Years Ago
      And still the F1 technical crew don't listen to Steve Matchett's suggestion to merely limit fuel flow and let the manufacturers do what they like after that. That would create innovation and a wide range of engine types.
        Reid
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        Never heard that discussed, but it's pretty brilliant. Much more useful for real-world application.
        avatar-ds
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        I think this is an awesome idea.
        moa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        or limit total amount of fuel to be used during race (or whole weekend).
      WatchF1
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 1.6 turbo 4 was an attempt to bring Audi into the sport. VAG must have decided that LeMans is more fruitful than moving and investing into F1. Martin Whitmarsh was asked, in the past, if the return of a Mercedes factory meant that McLaren would consider making their own engines. His description coincides with Audi and the initial 1.6 turbo 4. He explained that McLaren could make their own engines, if needed. If they had to, though, it would be a failure of regulations. Audi was a driving force behind the 1.6 turbo 4, and in large part, the new engine is a way to introduce or return engine manufacturers to F1. Ross Brawn echoed that sentiment today: http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/53034.html I'm glad Audi didn't join. I'd rather have a turbo V6 than a turbo 4. I just hope it revs to 16k instead of 14k.
      Jeffrey Smith
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope some cool turbo technology comes out of this.
      MachDelta
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder what restrictions they'll place on the turbo. Boost? CFM? Compressor size? We know too much about turbos to let them go unrestricted, or they'd be driving around 1200hp death traps.
        tantareanujellob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MachDelta
        Probably boost and RPM restrictions would be easiest to enforce. They could also have different boost limits for different tracks.
      Stephen Smalling
      • 3 Years Ago
      That sucks for the teams that have been developing the 4 banger.
      Ravo
      • 3 Years Ago
      At this rate, 2018 will be V-Twin air cooled motor with a turbo bigger than the motor.
      walletclan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can I get that engine for my Honda Fit?
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now let them run as much boosts as possible and take away the down force. Guaranteed LOLz.
      Gonzo_13
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ugghhh.... sorry to sound like a downer, but I just can't get excited about forced induction in Formula 1 today. There's nothing wrong with the V8's they run today. Why change it, if it isn't broken? Damn environmentalists.
        avatar-ds
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gonzo_13
        Better efficiency due to fewer moving parts (cylinders) dissipating power into mere heat and wear?
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      Won't happen. Years away in F1 is equivalent to never.
        tantareanujellob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        You're an idiot.
        Kuyper Hoffman
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        The FIA has to lay down major changes like this years in advance 'cos the teams can't wander down to the nearest AutoZone and buy a dozen turbochargers. This will be a huge development project for each team resulting in bespoke components, completely re-engineered engines, exhausts and even the chassis. The preposterous mid-season restriction the FIA just imposed (to outlaw forward-facing exhausts to enable trailing throttle exhaust gas through the diffusers to improve mid-corner downforce) is an example of how *not* to administer the sport. So the engineers outsmarted the rulemakers; suck it up and re-write the regs for next season, but not in the middle of the year! Rules *need* to be set well in advance so that teams can plan ahead.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Justin B.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford EcoBoost in F1? Unlikely but it would be fun!
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