Last week we reported on the sad news that Formula 1 may make the change from V8 engines to four-cylinder power. Now it’s official, F1 will be trading in its high-revving V8 engines for a new turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine design by 2013. The new rules will, naturally, affect all teams and in addition to the new motors the maximum engine speed will be reduced from the current 18,000 rpm to a maximum of 12,000 rpm.
So why exactly? Well the changes are expected to allow the vehicles to use around 35 percent less fuel than the outgoing eight-pots, while still producing very similar power numbers. While neither the FIA nor F1 organisers have released official numbers, apparently the engines will use high-pressure gasoline injectors that can dump fuel into the combustion chamber at up to 7,251 psi.
As well as smaller engines teams will be allowed fewer of them, because F1 is also moving to limit the number of engines that a team can use during a season. Right now, the rules allow for a group of eight engines used in a season but by 2013, that number will drop to five before falling to four soon after. That in addition to achieving much better fuel economy and still producing high power, the new engines will need to be hardy enough to take the abuse of multiple races without blowing up.