Ferrari 2014 F1 Powertrain

2014 is going to bring sweeping changes for the technical regulations of Formula 1 racing. Teams are moving from 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V8’s to turbocharged 1.6 liter V6’s with two electric motors. The first is the familiar crank driven mechanical energy recovery system and the second is a thermal energy recovery system where an electric motor is added between the turbine and compressor of the turbo. Ferrari’s intro video Audi Le Mans Turbo via EuroCarNews.comshows a “uniturbo” similar to the ones used on the Audi TDI Le Mans racers where the turbine housing has two entry passages for the opposing banks of the V6. The electric motor can act as a generator producing electrical energy from the turbine or it can work as a motor to help spool the turbo into boost efficient rpm’s. Integrating the engine so thoroughly with these new hybrid technologies calls for some new terminology. “Engine” is no longer an adequate description of the cars’ power sources. The whole system is now being referred to as a powertrain and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is now referred to as ERS (Energy Recovery System) since it will now also be harvesting thermal energy. New rules regarding restricted fuel capacity and flow rates and better engine durability accompany the new powertrain architecture. The energy management strategies are going to play a huge role in team strategies for the upcoming season. Hopefully most of this performance hybrid technology and acceptance will trickle down into affordable street cars pretty soon.

Source: Auto Broadcast Video on YouTube

2013 BMW M3 DTM

Chris Harris continues to bring us coverage of the unbelievably exclusive test drives of cars that you would think manufacturers would never let the media drive. This time around he does a few hot laps in BMW’s factory backed 2013 DTM M3. Though an M3 in name, the car is actually a full on race car with a carbon tub and an advanced aerodynamics package. These are the same regulations that the Japanese Grand Touring Championship (JGTC) will be adopting for 2014 and Grand-Am racing in the US in 2017. The idea is to keep development costs down by getting more people on the same equipment. As Chris points out, the car is extremely technically advanced, maybe even to a fault. The DTM cars are so capable and aerodynamics dependent that there’s a lot less exciting wheel-to-wheel action during the races. It’s not like the Golden Years of DTM when the race cars were still based on the production cars. That being said, it’s still pretty fascinating to watch Harris try to extract the most from the car on the track.

Source: DRIVE on YouTube

Huxley Motorsports Volvo 245 Estate Drift Car

Huxley VolvoThe Huxley Motorsports Volvo has got to be one of my favorite competition drift cars. It’s powered by a BMW V8, has S14 front suspension and an Escort MK1 5-link solid rear axle setup. It turns out the car was never supposed to be but came together from a whirlwind of circumstances and hard work. This little documentary tells the story of the car, it’s builder and all of the people who helped make it happen. It’s an encouraging story of community built from people helping people.

Hux’s Volvo 245
from CarPromos on Vimeo.
Head over the Huxley Motorsports Facebook page to see an album of the Volvo as it was coming together.

Liberty Walk at SEMA 2013

Japanese tuning house, Liberty Walk, first made waves last year with their wide body Lamborghini Murcielago. They continued to turn heads at this year’s SEMA show with body kits for the Nissan GT-R and the Ferrari 458 Italia:

It turns out that Liberty Walk’s founder, Wataru Kato, had set an ultimatum to shut the company down had their Murcielago not been a big hit last year. GT Channel got a pretty in-depth interview with him where they talk about where Kato-san got his influences and how he manages to promote the Liberty Walk brand image despite of not speaking any English.

Source: Photo M.D. and GT Channel on YouTube

Formula 1 2014 Regulation Changes

Here’s a quick overview of the sweeping changes coming to Formula 1 racing next year. The biggest of these is the change in engine format from a 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V8 to a 1.6 liter turbocharged V6. We’re going to do a more in-depth look at the hybrid energy recovery system later, but basically there’s a lot more electric energy storage and there’s an electric motor built into the turbocharger that can either assist with boost or generate electric power to recharge the batteries. The KERS electric motor attached the crankshaft also carries over. There are also going to be major changes with the nose and front wing as well as the elimination of the exhaust blown rear diffuser.

Source: YouTube user MrFormulaOneExpert3