Mercedes AMG was one of the first of the Formula One engine suppliers to reveal its new turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 developed for the 2014 season, and now it’s the first to release a sound clip for the controversial powerplant. The sound has been recorded in Mercedes AMG’s test lab in Brixworth, England, using an engine dyno, and simulates the sound of a 2014 F1 car being driven around Italy’s Monza race track.
While the sound here gives the closest indication so far of the turbo V-6’s shrill, Mercedes AMG engine chief Andy Cowell stresses that it will be different when the real thing is running on a track.
The pitch is certainly high and there isn’t the throatiness of the previous V-10 engines or even that of the current V-8 crop, though we're sure it will put most F1 fans at ease.
It’s important to note that the new turbo V-6 engines that will be supplied by Mercedes AMG, as well as similar units from rival suppliers Ferrari and Renault, are dramatically different to any F1 engine we’ve seen before.
On the current V-8, for starters, you have two exhaust pipes, so there are four cylinders feeding exhaust pulses into each pipe. Furthermore, the crankshaft is rotating at 18,000 rpm and there is no restriction in the exhaust system.
On the new turbo V-6, there is a single exhaust pipe, so all six cylinders are ultimately feeding into it. There is also the turbocharger’s turbine blocking the flow and the revs are now limited to just 15,000 rpm.
While fans are intrigued about the sound of the new 2014 F1 engines, Mercedes AMG says its focus has been on trying to ensure its engine is as competitive as possible when the season gets underway. Peak output will be around 750 horsepower, with 600 of those horses being developed directly by the turbocharged engine and the remainder coming from an electric motor-based Energy Recovery System.
The ERS consists of two electric motors. The first recovers electrical energy under braking by acting as a generator and storing it in a lithium-ion battery until required by the driver. The second is a little different, as it acts primarily as a generator, recovering electrical energy from exhaust gasses via the turbocharger’s turbine and storing this in the same battery as the first motor (this will ensure drivers have the electric power when they need it). The second motor can also keep the turbo compressor spooled during lower engine revs so that lag is eliminated when the driver drops the hammer, for instance, when the lights first go green.