Formula One is making a switch from the current naturally aspirated 2.4-liter V8 found in the back of every car, to a new, 1.6-liter turbocharged V6. Suffice it to say, things are going to change. The new engines are having such an impact on the teams of F1, that at least one manufacturer, Ferrari, is reportedly thinking of branching out to Le Mans.

For spectators, though, the concern over the new turbocharged mills isn't so much one of power. We know the things will still be ridiculously powerful. What we're worried about is just what these new engines will sound like, which is arguably the most defining characteristic of any era of F1. Changes in cylinder counts and the addition of forced induction can result in dramatically different exhaust notes.

We've now gotten our first chance to hear the new engine that will be fielded by Mercedes AMG Petronoas and Williams next year. The engine used in the video below is a development powerplant at AMG's High Performance Powertrains facility in the UK. Set to debut for the 2014 season, it sounds, um, different? Now we know why Bernie Ecclestone mentioned augmented sound. It's certainly a big departure from the current V8s. Take a listen as it laps a virtual Monza circuit below, and let us know what you think of the new sound in Comments.
Show full PR text

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS lets 2014 engine roar on YouTube

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team has given Formula One fans around the globe a unique insight into the future today on its official commercial YouTube channel.

To mark the team's new status as a YouTube partner for the creation and broadcast of exclusive video content about the Silver Arrows team, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS has offered fans the first taste of how the new 2014 Power Units will sound out on track.

The audio recording of the turbocharged V6 unit was conducted using a development engine at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth, UK.

This simulated lap of the Monza circuit – the definitive test of any Formula One powerplant – was then synced to a lap of the circuit at the team's Driver-in-the-Loop simulator at team HQ in Brackley, UK.

The result is the most accurate impression so far of how the new Power Units will sound in 2014, with a maximum rev limit of 15,000 rpm and a single turbocharger spinning at speeds of up to 125,000 rpm.

This unique video can be found on the YouTube channel

The team's official YouTube channel will continue to provide exclusive content throughout the Formula One season and off-season, from the awesome Nordschleife to deepest Northamptonshire, offering a unique insight into life behind-the-scenes of a top Formula One team.

Follow the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team on:


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who's not worried about what the engines are going to sound like next year? Being that this was recorded on a dyno, everything sounds MUCH flatter than it would in a car out on track. Plus the exhaust gases are being channeled outside the building this was recorded in (for ventilation purposes), so you're missing that as well. The cars that we see on track in 2014 will sound NOTHING like this.
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the exhaust sounds like a cartoon. I'll reserve judgement until real cars are on real tracks in a real atmosphere. I recently watched a documentary on the development of the Ford/Cosworth 1.5L turbo V6 F1 engine in the early 80's. Gave me hope that the 2014 cars are going to sound just fine.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's hard to tell from this lap, but I'd expect it to sound closer to the gruff twin turbo V6s of the original turbo-era F1 cars of the early to mid 80s. The single turbo will rob the note of more aural balance however, and the placement of the turbo in the Vee with such short exhaust runners will mean we also lose that staccato warble caused by unequal length headers.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Unequal length headers? I thought the whole point of a well designed header was to make all the pipes equal length or am I mistaken?
          • 2 Years Ago
          Having equal-length headers isn't important in a forced induction motor, as you're no longer relying on the scavenging effect to assist aspiration. In fact I believe it's more important to have the shortest headers possible, so as to reduce weight and turbo-lag. ...OTOH you could create some crazy offsets in the headers to create a deep, lopy warbling sound like a Subaru. :D
        • 2 Years Ago
        The turbo is not in the V, it is behind the engine on top of the transmission. The exhaust runners will be pretty long, as they will go from the heads, down back along the transmission, then up to the turbine manifold.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm confused why they added the videogame visuals with the sound.
      Justin Emerson
      • 2 Years Ago
      john m
      • 2 Years Ago
      uuuhhhh.... maybe I'm wrong but this doesn't mean anything to me as it all appears computer generated. This was a waste of time...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @john m
        Pretty sure they just ran the engine through a recorded session from the circuit. They log entire races and can have the engine "replay" the race.
      Art BoycottOvertime
      • 2 Years Ago
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Art BoycottOvertime
        literally and figuratively.
      You missed it
      • 2 Years Ago
      No, it is not how the engines will sound. This is the sound of the engine in the testing room - it has no exhaust pipes. Instead, they use special tubes that channel out the fumes. Those fumes distort the actual engine sound.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @You missed it
        Technically the F1 cars use a coanda type exhaust...the engines have tubing headers and collectors that go into a single pipe. The coanda exhaust has some advantages that F1 has mauled with rule change. Google coanda exhaust F1....the exercise is left to the student.
        You missed it
        • 2 Years Ago
        @You missed it
        The tubes distort the sound, not fumes.
      Justin B.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This sounds EXACTLY like my weed-eater when I run out of string.
      • 2 Years Ago
      sounds kind of wimpy to me -- not enough balls to it -- just one mans opinion
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds sh**house, the v10s were the greatest but FIA are continuing on their quest to f*** formula one, such a shame. and the efficiency bs is not a valid argument... its a bunch of cars going round a track.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is to the production engine what an electronic keyboard is to a concert grand. I'm not worried.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X