Honda wants to get back in Formula 1

Article by Christian A., on October 11, 2012

There are speculations that Honda may go back to Formula One in the future. Yoshiharu Yamamoto, the head of Honda R&D, hinted to Autocar that the marque may go back to the race. This fuels rumors that Honda is studying the new 1.6-litre turbo rules that will be implemented starting in 2014. Yamamoto told Autocar that he loves racing but taking part in the F1 requires a huge commitment.

He thinks that if the rules change and they’re attractive enough, there could be a chance that it will return. Honda made headlines recently when it announced its participation in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), where the team will bring in a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.

Because of this, the next Honda Civic Type-R road car that’s likely to have a 2015 launch is believed to feature a turbocharged engine. Honda president Takanobu Ito told Autocar magazine earlier this week that the company is developing other turbocharged engines for sale in Europe, indicating a shift from high-revving naturally-aspirated units.

The change may be in line with a revived interest in Formula 1’s revised regulations. But then, Yamamoto admitted that the company has to reach other targets before it could even think about going back to F1 for the first time since 2008. He said that the first thing that Honda has to do is win the WTCC before it could consider anything else.

Serving as the core of the new Civic Type R is a new 2.0 liter VTEC Turbo petrol engine with direct-injection and turbocharging technologies. Thanks to these technologies, this powerplant -- part of the carmaker’s next-generation Earth Dreams Technology series -- is able to provide output, torque and performance levels that are virtually the best in the front-wheel drive hot hatch segment – 310 PS of max output at 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm of peak torque available between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. Compared to the previous Type R, these output and torque figures are much higher.

Announcing the new power levels of the new engine in the Honda Civic Type R, this race-inspired car is provided with a bright red engine cover as well as aluminum intake pipe -- a reference to Civic racing cars that achieved success in the 2015 World Touring Car Championship.

Featuring a redline of 7,000 rpm, the new 2.0 liter VTEC Turbo makes use of a new advanced turbocharging system that employs the carmaker’s Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) and Dual-Variable Timing Control (VTC) technologies. These Honda-exclusive technologies allow the turbocharged engine to offer sustained acceleration and low-end response. In addition, this unique combo offers a number of advantages in terms of output and efficiency as well as packaging.

Specifically, Dual-VTC enables a certain degree of valve timing overlap as controlled across a broad rpm range, resulting in increased levels of responsiveness and efficiency. VTEC, meanwhile, could adjust the degree of exhaust valve lift in order to reduce turbo lag, thereby increasing exhaust pressure at lower rpm while offering a high output at higher rpm.

By introducing Dual-VTC and VTEC into a mono scroll turbocharger, the engine could deliver a max output that is best in its class and provide the same response at lower rpm. The responsiveness of the turbocharging system is also boosted by employing an electronic waste-gate for a greater freedom of induction pressure control.

Topics: honda, formula 1

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