Renault unveils its 2014 hybrid turbo; draws line with road car range from Clio to F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jun 2013   |  8:37 am GMT  |  147 comments

Renault Sport F1 unveiled its new 2014 F1 engine, dubbed the Energy F1, at an event in Paris on Friday.

The timing was rather unfortunate, as the F1 media was on red alert waiting for the announcement of the verdict in the Mercedes Pirelli Tribunal hearing, but the significance of the Renault announcement -particularly the message it contained – is not to be ignored.

Following on from Mercedes, which presented its 2014 engine to selected media at the start of the year, Renault pulled the cover off an engine which – it clearly feels – aligns F1 more with the direction of the road car industry. For this reason it has chosen to align the branding of the F1 unit with its road car range “Energy”, so consumers can draw a line from the humble Clio right through to Formula 1, as it explained at the launch,

“For several years, Renault has used its racing know-how to develop fuel efficient engines for road cars, notably its Energy range,” said the Renault statement. “The objectives are clear: maintain or improve driving pleasure, vitality and acceleration with downsized engines to achieve lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“Renault has employed these principles in developing the F1 Power Unit, creating a complete, and genuine, circular development process between road and track.

“For these reasons, Renault has named the F1 Power Unit series ‘Energy F1’; clearly illustrating that the F1 Power Unit shares the same DNA as its road-going cousins.”

The launch comes after talks between Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn and F1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone, where Ghosn communicated frustration at the lack of promotional opportunity for his company in the way F1 is set up currently.

As for the technicalities of the engine, it is a 1.6 litre direct injection, single turbo, fitted with ERS, the energy recovery system which replaces the unloved KERS units of today. ERS will increase efficiency by
harvesting energy dissipated as heat in the exhaust or brakes. Currently KERS gives a 60kW boost, ERS will provide double that – 120kW (160bhp).

The 2014 engine has two energy recovery units, one which harvests heat exhaust energy from the turbine shaft and another which recovers energy from the crankshaft under braking.

The engines will rev to 15,000rpm, compared to the 18,000rpm of the current V8s. To hear the new 2014 style engine, listen here: Renault 2014 engine sound

Drivers will be allowed to use five units in 2014, the idea being to drop that to four in the subsequent years, to keep costs under control; the initial cost to teams is high, as the manufacturers pass on the cost of development, this is something that has been subject of extensive discussions behind the scenes to try to find a way to cushion the financial impact to teams.

The new engines are remarkable; the maximum power of the new Power Unit will be greater than the
current V8 F1 engines at the same time as fuel efficiency will be significantly improved. Only 100kg of fuel is allowed per car for the 300km Grand Prix, compared with 150 kg typically today. So the new units will use 35% more fuel efficient.

“From next year, one of greatest challenges in F1 will be to maximize energy efficiency and fuel economy while maintaining the power output and performance expected of F1 cars,” said Renault Sport F1 president Jean Michel Jalinier. “Renault has pioneered this technology in its road car engine range with the Energy series. Naming
the Power Unit Energy F1 creates an unbroken range, from the Clio through to our competition department.”

According to Renault’s Axel Plasse the packaging of the engine into the chassis is more complex than with the current V8s, which could more or less be swapped between teams. This hints at the advantage that works teams will have in the new era, where they are able to work with complete co-operation and transparency with the engine makers to optimise the chassis design; teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull initially, with McLaren and Honda fitting the same mould from 2015 onwards.

“The Power Unit is much more integrated and central to design, for example the turbo overlaps the gearbox so it intrudes into the space where there was a clutch or a suspension part,” said Plasse. “The energy store is also much larger, which has an impact on chassis length, fuel volume and radiator position, amongst other items.”

The new F1 engines will change the balance in F1, instead of tyres being the limiting factor as they are today, it will be the engines. The drivers will have to go as fast as possible, while using only 100kg of fuel for the entire race.

“The question then becomes where to deploy the energy in the lap, ” says Renault’s Naoki Tokunaga. “This season, KERS is used only a few places in a lap. But from 2014 all of the energy, from fuel and battery, is so precious that we will have to identify where deployment of the energy will be beneficial over the whole
lap and saving will be least harmful for lap time – we call it ‘power scheduling’. ”

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Hi James,

in recent years we’ve seen Redbull aligning themseves more closely with Infiniti, do you think we could soon see them with an Infiniti motor instead of a Renult?


Fuel flow is fixed and cannot go higher after 10.5k rpms. The ice power curve from this point to the 15k redline will be almost flat, slightly decreasing due to mechanical losses increasing. Due to this, I will be surprised if any engine will ever see the redline limit. Also, teams may actually have to use engine braking to charge the batteries rather than overrun the ice since the fuel weight is capped.


I don’t know what you’re all moaning about, I think it sounds great. Ok not as great as a V10 or an old V12 but anything is better than those horrible horrible V8s we have had to endure for the last 7 years.

I am concerned to read how much the engines are regulated though, looks like they will all be various shades of the same colour as they are now, no doubt all making exactly the same noise, I miss the days of being able to identify a car by its sound.


The unique sound came more from them all having different numbers of cylinders, different firing orders, vee angle etc. You’ll only get that again if it goes to a free-for-all which isn’t happening anytime soon!

I’m going to wait until the engines are running in a car at full speed before making a judgement. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Audi/Peugeot diesels at Le Mans for the first time about how effortlessly brutal the silence was as they went past, made the Corvettes seem like little shouty ants!! Yes I do mean a brutal silence!!


James, you’ve heard the 2014 power units from Mercedes and Renault now, can you tell an audible difference in their sounds? If so, which one do you prefer?


software employed by branders to “manage” drivers


The Renault engine sounds nothing like the current F1 engine more like a wasp. They seem to be determined to wreck every aspect of F1 racing with duff tyres now we have the exciting sound of an F1 engine about to be a thing of the past if your sound byte is correct. This is engine manufacturers using a supposedly “sport” to develop road car engines. Will not be worth watching at all before long.


Agree with you, but on hindsight we witnessed Ayrton Senna at his peak during the turbo era. Just hope racing will even be better and maybe we’ll have to get use to the wasp.


So they will not be going as fast as possible, they will be driving around conserving not only tires, but also fuel and battery life. Why not also remove the water bottles from the car, that will save weight and fuel and promote human evolution of more water efficient drivers. Then they can drive around conserving human energy and sweat emissions also. After that they can introduce a combustible human exhaust gas recovery system and feed them only soybeans, which will further reduce team costs.

Ezekiel Nasser

This comment was pure awesomeness. +1

Stephen Taylor

How long will drivers be able to use ERS for?


James, from news I read smaller teams are are very concern about the rising cost for the turbos. Do you think there will be less teams and the 3 cars per team which was mentioned before.


That looks like the agenda of some of the larger teams. I hope not, because diversity is good and the standard of teams like Marussia and Caterham is very high. I’ve seen it from the inside recently and they do a great job.


James is right : the work put in by Caterham and Marussia is of a very high standard and they should be congratulated. The problem for them is that the established teams set such a high standard it’s almost impossible to break through into the big league. If Williams can’t get back to the front, what chance have the two new teams got ?

Sadly Bernie has made it very clear that he only wants 10 teams and has adjusted the financial package to do everything possible to drop the 11th team. This is now looking increasingly more likely to be Caterham than Marussia.

That’s a pity. We really don’t want to see Ferrari running three cars.

The problem with Ferrari having three cars is that will then have even more opportunities to use team orders to gain an unfair advantage for Alonso.

Obviously only two cars could count towards the Constructor’s Championship so we can be sure that Ferrari will cynically use a third car to enhance their chances in both Championships.

We only have to look back at the Schumacher era for the evidence. In those days Ferrari used every trick in the book to gain an advantage including using their special relationship with Bridgestone to manipulate the tyre spec to suit their car and driver.

That rather puts their protestations over Mercedes 2013 tyre test into perspective, doesn’t it?

I’m not sure that McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull would be that keen to run three cars but they would have no choice but to follow Ferrari if it were allowed.


Yeah because Vettel has “never” used his team to help get him across the line. :/


“So the new units will use 35% more fuel efficient.” This sounds incorrect ?

Scuderia McLaren

I have not jumped on the “it’ll be terrible sound” band wagon, mainly because it was Bernie E that introduced such a silly notion. Because I always assume everything he does or says is for potitcal manoeuvring I just disregarded any nonsense about the new engine sound losing F1 fans from him or media on his payroll.

But I must say, that sound clip of the Renault engine sounds really terrible. It’s ust not F1. No urgency, no ear trauma and I don’t anticipate ear trauma live to be frank. There is no aural sensation to overwhelm me.

I don’t think it’s the displacement or configuration though. I think its the rev limit maybe. The 80’s turbos were great, the V12 atmo’s were great, the V10’s of the 1990’s early 2000’s were just spectacular. There have been various engine formula’s that were captivating. The V8’s today are pretty good too.

I hate to say it, Bernie might be right. Maybe give them more engines over a year so they can really turn them up and flog them more at closer to 17,000 – 18,000 rpm. Make them quicker reving. And let them use the fuel they need to get them going. I really think its the revs.


I’d like to see BMW make one of these babies


‘power scheduling’. Great, so if we’re not managing tyre degredation, we’re going to be managing a very limited supply of fuel and battery power. I heard an interview with Allan McNish this week, where he thinks that the endurance cars are being driven flat out more than f1 cars are. Something is very wrong here people.


Next it will be my “nap scheduling” … yawn


Call me old fashioned, or just old, but to my ears this engine sounds like a mildly souped up 1970s road car. A F1 engine it ‘aint.

Bring back the Matra V12, I say.

You haven’t lived if you’ve never heard one of those at full chat along the Hanger straight !


The 1st time I live heard a F1 car as a child I remember tears were coming out of my eyes and instantaneously I was a F1 fan, after listening to the new renault F1 engine I was crying again…… 🙁


I just hope the limited fuel does not put drivers off pushing and attacking hard because they could face the prospect of running out of fuel before the end. I think we have all had enough of seeing drivers race to a lap delta that is set by the pit wall to manage the tyres, I hope they can push like hell, or alternatively, have 10 extra kg of emergency fuel and add a pre-determined amount of time to their final race time for every 100g of extra fuel they burn. Would add a great strategy twist. Would be fun tho.


A lot of you seem to be worrying about this, but what you are forgetting is that right now they don’t start with enough fuel to actually finish the race at full speed, meaning that they already have to go into fuel saving mode at some point during every race (usually during a safety car).

Fair enough in 2014 they’ll be starting with less fuel, but with any luck these new fuel efficient engines will eliminate the current fuel saving so that they can go racing…but we’ll have to wait and see.

Frankly right now the tyres are still the limiting factor.


Any truth in the rumour that Pirelli will ditch F1 for Le Mans next year?

And that they plan to call it Le Mans 2.4 hours instead, to compensate for the tyre degradation?


Don’t worry, Pirelli makes tyres for other competitions and have no problem making them last. Which is why it’s so weird that they’re not leaving F1!


Can’t blame Pirelli mate, Formula 1 has treated them like absolute crap! I wouldn’t be sticking around if I was a business like Pirelli.


Me neither. It would be ‘fu F1, and the horse you rode up on.”


I dont know if the sound of this engine on the links is genuine or not but it does not do anything for me, far too “normal” not earth shattering like the current engines. I really hope that when the teams put their pipes on they can do something that not only improves the power but the noise too.


I concur, it is not F1 at all. Ask ANYONE who goes to a Grand Prix and they will ALL tell you that the screaming, earth bending, ear bleeding noises of an F1 engine is one of the major reasons for their attendance.

If the engines are going to sound like that preview we’ve seen, we should all take a chair and go sit next to our local motorways and we’d get just as much enjoyment out of it.


I go to Drag Racing only to see TOP-Fuel cars taking of the line. I would recommend this experience as a must have in ones live.

Same applies to F1 cars, otherwise they become impotent toy cars, what the IndyCar is right now.

Stephen Taylor

James what will a team do if one or both of their cars has non functioning ERS?


If that actually happens, the ERS will be coming from the engine supplier…think about it 🙂


Wait until that Felix bloke rolls out the safety car, and hope you’re faster than him.


Go slowly!


The engin sounds terrible like tuned japanese production car! has it on their site. With all the technology available surely they can make V10 engines cleaner and more fuel efficient!


I suppose then, unless it is a wet race (where the lost of the ERS may not be so problematic), they will probably just pit the cars and call it a day. This will save the engine/gearbox and the rest of the car from undue wear.

What do you think, James? I suppose they could continue to run, treating the race as an extended test session.


Quite like the way that sounds, Kinda similar to the current Indycar V6 Turbo units although the F1 units will rev higher & have the ERS.

Also bear in mind that the sound was recorded on the dyno, When out on track actually been driven it will likely sound even better.

I think we will hear a lot of bitching from people in early 2014, But once the racing starts Im betting a lot of that will die down. I remember the same back in 2006 when the V8′s came in, It was the death of F1 & people were never going to watch ever again because of how crap the cars were going to sound.

All that talk soon died down when the racing started & now some of those same people think the V8′s they protested about 7yrs ago should remain.


I didn’t like the V8’s when they were introduced and I’ll be glad to see them gone. They may have 750hp but they have minnimul torque (I think in the region of 200nm, road car levels) making them gutless, something that the turbo’s will definitely change.

People will complain, it seems to be the only thing some fans like doing these days regardless of what happens.


Based on the power figures Toyota admitted for their old V8, torque at peak power would have been 277 Nm. Some sources say peak torque was 290 Nm. The current engines will be a bit more I think, despite the so-called engine freeze.

The upper limit on torque output is pretty much set when you choose the displacement, aspiration and fuel. Changes in number and configuration of cylinders will make minor differences.

A really good 2.4l normally-aspirated road car engine might get you something like 250Nm I would think.

It would have been the same with the 3.0l V10s, they would have made something in the order of 25% more torque than a good 3.0l NA road engine.


+1 Andrew. Agreed!


Torque will definitely increase, but most of it in low revs will come from the electric motor… unless, of course, the ERS package has a malfunction, in which case you might as well park the car.


What’s the engine size of those Indy V6s?


2.2 litres.


The pitch is a tad lower and less agitated (shame), but we’ll get used to it.

Take note though, that the sound Renault released is purely synthetic, they wouldn’t want other teams locking their nerds and cloacked spooks in dark rooms doing audio analysis to reverse engineer their hard work.


Just doesn’t sound like F1 to me. YES I KNOW they used to use turbos back in the day. But that Renault engine sound given just leaves me feeling a little hollow to be honest.


I agree. Sounds droning and boring. Sounds like a GP3 car or something.


Like many other fans, I am being slowly put off the sport by the continually increasing technology bans in F1. However, I do have a positive suggestion to re-direct some of the hard-won sponsorship dollars in ways more meaningful to both sponsors and fans alike.

It seems to me that the bulk of the dollars spent by the teams goes on aero development, most of which can only be seen at close range,and also has little relevance to most sponsors. I would suggest getting rid of ALL the current aero rules, and replacing them with a single rule that says

“The total downforce exerted on the car, at any speed and in any configuration, shall be [insert a figure here] kilograms.”

I would suggest a figure equal to the maximum weight of the F1 car for the particular season. This level of downforce should be achievable pretty well straight off the drawing board with the curent level of knowledge of most teams, and stop the hugely expensive aero development currently done by all teams throught the season.

It should save a great deal of money, which could go towards development of the various parts of the cars which have much more relevance to car manufacturers and other potential sponsors (and fans), and the re-introduction (un-banning!) of many technologies not currently allowed. With the reduced downforce also giving reduced drag, there would be less disturbed air upsetting the car behind, giving the drivers more chance to overtake, without the rather ridiculous “blue flag” drs rule currently in vogue.


It doesn’t seem like you really understand how aerodynamics work. Your suggestion also doesn’t prevent teams from spending a lot on trying to gain aero advantages at lower speeds. And on top of that, do you REALLY want slower F1 cars?


This wont help

Teams will still send money on aero development. They will send up on making the aero more efficient. Less drag same down force.

Better if the rules get rid of all the aero appendages on the car. 1 plain front wings, no gills on rear wings. get rid of all the suspension aero. Make the care look clean again


But then F1 cars would then probably be even slower than they already are….and we have enough complaints about that aspect!


Well, we know you have limited technical knowledge.

Downforce squares with speed and since F1 cars don’t travel at constant speed it makes your suggestion completely unworkable.

This also shows how little most peolple about know about aero. It’s not all about how much downforce, drag or turbulance that the cars make but the way it’s made. I’ve often said if F1 switches back to ground effect it would make for better races whithout unecessarely simplifying the cars. Of course the problem is preventing the cars getting dangerously fast as the amount of downforce that could be produced would be rediculous.


Regarding ‘how little most people know about aero’ – which is what I think you meant to say:-

1. I guess what KenJ meant to say was the “maximum down-force exerted, regardless of speed”.

2. It’s amusing how many times small ‘important’ pieces have broken off the front wings of competitors’ cars with little or no effect on their lap times. Even the experts’ knowledge appears to have its limits.


Hi Andrew- re. your first sentence, yes I would be the first to admit there are many things I do not yet know, and sadly, many I

never will know- with the best will in the world, life is too short to learn everything- but I can assure you I have been giving it

my very best for the last 64 years.

Your second sentence, first statement. Yes, it does indeed follow a square law- in a perfect world, Lift (in newtons) = Cl x

1/2rV^2 x S, but of course it is much more complex for an F1 car due to all the bits hanging in the breeze from the basic lifting

body which affect the air flow in an exceedingly complex manner.

The second statement- yes, F1 cars do not travel at constant speed, but that in no way invalidates my proposal. It is a trivial

matter to establish the appropriate maximum speed of the cars, add a margin for error, then use that as the test speed in a wind

tunnel to establish the total downforce on the cars.

Re. your comment on ground effect- like the current wings, etc, it does make for fast and furious racing, but it also has the same

problems as the current aero development. The development of aero has a quite narrow market when it come to sponsorship and the

marketability of the data. The main thrust of my idea is to enable development to be channeled in to areas that are more marketable

to sponsors by being relevant to their day-to-day business.


Something tells me Phillip Morris don’t sponsor Ferrari so that the team can help them make better cigarettes. I’d say the sponsors don’t give a toss about the marketability of aero data or suspension kinematics, nor do any of the team members give a damn about the day to day core business of their soft drinks sponsor.

I want development to be channeled into making cars go faster, the essence of Formula 1, and if the teams want to find a way to apply and sell off any of their accrued knowledge, practices, techniques, technology or whatever, then they can do (see McLaren Applied Technology).

My suggestion is aimed at improving the spectacle of F1 without dumbing it down to the level of a spec series.


“The total downforce exerted on the car, at any speed and in any configuration, shall be [insert a figure here] kilograms.”

Very sensible.


I’m sure watching Senna “Power Scheduling” his laps around Monaco would have been inspiring. Can’t wait for next year, it’s going to be great!


It might not be the brightest idea, given how many people have owned Renaults road cars and cursed their risible build quality.


You can listen to the engine’s sound on their website:,2630.html?lang=fr

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