Next year will see a radical shift in engine technology for Formula One, with the regulations calling for downsized 1.6-liter V-6 engines that can be aided by turbochargers and energy recovery systems. Only three engine suppliers will be active next year, Ferrari, Mercedes AMG and Renault, but by the time the 2015 season rolls around Honda will have its own engine ready.
Yes, Honda will be back in F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier, linking up with its former partner McLaren initially. Honda’s engines of the ‘80s and early ‘90s were considered some of the most powerful and reliable in F1, and they helped secure multiple championships for the likes of Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet.
Development of Honda’s latest F1 engine is currently taking place at the automaker’s main R&D center in Tochigi, Japan. Recently, the engine was fired for the first time and a recording of its sound made.
The pitch is higher than what F1 fans will be attuned to, but there’s still plenty of ferocity in the sound. Mercedes AMG has also released a video with a sound recording of its new F1 engine.
The new F1 power units will develop upwards of 750 horsepower when combined with an energy recovery system. The engine alone will develop around 600 horsepower and will be aided by two electric motor-generators: one adding a maximum 120 kilowatts (161 horsepower) and the second either helping spool up the turbo or topping up the batteries.