This may look like a high-tech electric meat grinder, but it is in fact Mercedes’ new V6 Turbo Formula 1 engine, shown recently to a group of journalists at the team’s factory in the UK. The purpose of this preview was to ensure the media the new generation of F1 engines sound ‘sweet’.
Ever since they decided to go with V6 engine and use turbocharger to make up for the lost power, there has been a lot of controversy regarding their noise. The current F1 engine have an iconic bellow that is their signature dish. Take the out, and they lose a big chunk of their appeal for the spectators.
On the face of it, the new V6 engine shouldn’t sound anything like the V8s for a couple of reasons. First they have a size of only 1.6 liter, and they have a giant turbocharger, clearly visible in the pictures, killing most of the noise coming out the exhausts. Do no despair though, because as Mercedes showed to the journalists, they may not be just as loud, but at least they sound ‘sweet’.
“The engines are going to be loud, but I think sweet sounding,” said Andy Cowell, managing director of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines. “The frequency will be higher and, with the turbocharger running at 125,000rpm, they will be loud. When you are stood next to it on the dyno it is not quiet and you need ear defenders. “There will be a new quality to the racing too. It will edge towards a thinking drivers’ formula to get the most from the car and the available fuel energy. The engines will also deliver much more torque – especially on the exit of the corners. They will also put F1 back at the cutting edge of new technology – which is what the fans want.”