Peter Anderson | Mar 20, 2013

Just as the 2013 season kicks off, Renaultsport has revealed details of the engine that will take F1 back to the Eighties: a 1.6 litre, turbocharged V6.

The 2014 season will see a radical change in rules for the pinnacle of open-wheeled motorsport, with the engines downsized and use of energy harvesting given more prominence.

In an effort to reduce consumption and at least give the impression F1 is relevant to road cars, the new V6s will use less fuel and expand the use of electric power from the simple KERS boost button.

The new engine is expected to cut fuel consumption by 40 percent while maintaining the F1 power standard of around 550kW.

As per the rules, the Renaultsport V6 revs to 15,000rpm, 3,000 less than the current 2.4 litre V8.

The cars may only carry a single exhaust system rather than the current twin arrangement, meaning the FIA can exert a little more control over the use of exhaust gases for aerodynamic purposes.

The 2014 KERS will double in output - 120kW, up from the current 60kW - and a new electric motor will harvest power from the exhaust and can be used to keep the turbo spinning to avoid dreaded turbo lag.

As with the current engine formula, all other engine manufacturers must follow suit, so Mercedes and Ferrari are expected to follow along sometime soon. Honda is rumoured to be re-entering the sport with McLaren for the 2015 season.

Honda's turbo-powered machines of the Eighties were the stuff of legend, powering Lotus, Williams and perhaps most famously, McLaren.

Honda engines won 71 grands prix and powered six constructor's championships between 1983 and 1992.

There was a great deal of concern about the sound of the new engines, including F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Mercedes-Benz sought to allay fears by inviting journalists to hear the new engine in action at its UK base, with the press reporting a positive response to the new unit's sound.

What won't change is the mandated standard engine control unit (ECU). Produced in a joint-venture between McLaren and Microsoft, all teams must run the standard ECU so the FIA can keep an eye on any rule-bending.

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