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File:Cosworth DFV.jpg
A Ford Cosworth DFV on a Ligier JS11

Cosworth is an engine design and manufacture company founded in 1958, specialising in engines for automobile racing. In 2005 it supplied engines to the Red Bull Racing (RBR) and Minardi Formula One racing teams. In 2006, two teams will use Cosworth engines in Formula One: the Williams team who will use Cosworth V8 engines, transmissions and associated electronics, and the Squadra Toro Rosso team who are likely to use detuned Cosworth V10 engines.

Corporate history

The original company was founded as a British racing engine maker, based in Northampton in 1958 by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth (COStin and duckWORTH). Despite being an independent company Cosworth was supported by Ford for many years and most of the Cosworth engines were branded Ford.

The company has been through a number of owners. United Engineering Industries (UEI) purchased the company in 1980; UEI were taken over by Carlton Communications in 1988. Vickers bought Cosworth in 1990. In 1998 Vickers sold the company to Volkswagen Group, who then signed a deal with Ford, which bought the racing division which had long always made racing engines for Ford. Cosworth Technology (also known as CT) offers powertrain development consultancy, and its patented aluminium casting process is used by several car makers including Audi and Aston Martin. Volkswagen sold CT to the Mahle Group in December 2004.

Cosworth was split in 1998 into two companies, Cosworth Racing and Cosworth Technology. With the aquisition of Cosworth Technology into the Mahle Group, Cosworth Technology became Mahle Powertrain.

In September 2004, Ford announced that it was selling Cosworth Racing, along with its Jaguar Formula One team. On Nov. 15, 2004, the sale of Cosworth was completed, to Champ Car World Series owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, who renamed Cosworth Racing to Cosworth.


Association with Ford

Cosworth has had a long relationship with Ford, which began when Cosworth first started manufacturing racing engines in 1959. These were modified versions of the 1000 cc Ford Kent engine engine for Formula Junior. Cosworth began its associating with Lotus Cars by boring the Kent out to 1340 cc for the Lotus 7. 1.5 L and 1.6 L units were developed in 1963 for use in Formula B and sports car racing, as well as for powering the Lotus Cortina. The final evolution of the Cosworth-Kent, in 1965, was the MAE, when new rules where introduced in Formula 3 allowing 1000cc engines. The domination of this engine was absolute as long as the 1000cc regulation lasted. As Cosworth had some difficulty facing the demand, the MAE was mainly sold as a kit.

A year before, the SCA was introduced, a 1000cc engine based on a Ford Cortina 116E block that raced in Formula 2, and featured the first Cosworth design head. The Cortina engine was also the basis for the FVA, a F2 engine introduced in 1966, for the new 1.6 L engine rules. This engine dominated the category until 1971, and was also used in sports car racing in 1.8 L form as the FVC.


Cosworth was also a huge contender in the Rallying Circuits. In the 1980s the Cosworth BDT-E equipped mid-engined Ford RS200 competed in the short lived Group B rally formula and then in later years a 2 litre turbocharged engine was used to power Ford Cosworth Sierras, Cosworth Escorts, and now Cosworth Focuses in the WRC.

The DFV (Double Four Valve)

In 1966 Cosworth received an order from Ford to produce a competitive Formula 1 engine, along with the £100,000 that Ford felt it adequate to spend on such an objective. Costin and Duckworth merged two four-cylinder FVA units into a single V8 engine, thus creating a legend in its own right, the DFV ( standing for "double four valve"). This engine and its derivatives were used for a quarter of a century, and it was the most successful in the history of Formula 1/Grand Prix motor racing. Winning 167 races in a career lasting over 20 years, it was the product that put Cosworth Engineering on the map. Originally designed for Formula One, the engine has been modified to be used in a range of categories.

The DFV won on its first outing, at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix in the hands of Jim Clark, fitted to a Lotus 49, and from 1968 was available for purchase to any F1 team that wished it. During the 1970s it was not uncommon for almost the entire field (with the notable exception of Ferrari) to be using one of these engines (this at a time when independent wealthy individuals could buy exactly the same engine off the shelf that was also being used by McLaren et al.). Most teams just built a tub around a Cosworth DFV and a Hewland gearbox. It won a record-holding 155 World Championship races, the last being Detroit, 1983, powering a Tyrrell driven by Michele Alboreto.

While designed as an F1 engine the DFV was also used as in endurance racing, its flat-plane design lead to destructive vibrations putting stress on devices surrounding the engine, especially the exhaust system. Despite this handicap the DFV won the 24 hours of Le Mans twice.

A special endurance version, the DFL, was developed in two versions: a 3.3-litre and a 3.9-litre. Whilst the 3.3L version soon became known for its reliability, the 3.9L version was a step too far and is remembered as a failure.

It was the advent of turbocharged engines in Formula 1 which sounded the death knell for the venerable DFV. The DFY, introduced in 1982 was a further evolution of the DFV for Formula One, with a shorter stroke and a DFL bore, thereby producing more power, but still unable to fight against the turbocharged cars of the day. With Formula 1 going to the turbocharged route, in 1986 Cosworth returned to the lower formulae preparing the DFV for the newly-created Formula 3000, with the installation of a compulsory rev limiter, which scaled power back from 500 to 420 bhp; the DFV remained in this class until 1992.

In F1, a new DFV-based design was introduced for the new 3.5 L normally-aspirated rules in 1987. The DFZ was produced as an interim model, but in 1988 Cosworth created the DFV's final evolution, the DFR, which won the 1989 Japanese GP with Alessandro Nannini in a Benetton, before finally being replaced by the new HB series. The DFR soldiered on in F1 with smaller teams until 1992.

The DFV has recently been given a new lease of life thanks to the interest in Classic F1 racing, which was given a World Championship status by the FIA in 2004.

DFV variants

Throughout the years, the DFV spawned a number of derivations.

In 1968, Cosworth created a 2.5 L version for the Tasman Series, the DFW.

In 1981, the DFL was developed for sports car racing, in 3.3 L and 3.9 L form.

Aside from the DFV itself , one of the most successful and longest-lived projects of Cosworth has been its CART/Champ Car engine program. In 1975, Cosworth developed the DFX, a derivative of their DFV Formula 1 engine by destroking the engine to 2.65 L and adding two turbochargers, the DFX became the standard engine to run in Indycar racing, ending the reign of the Offenhauser, and maintaining that position until the late 80s. Ford backed Cosworth with creating a new interim design for Indycar racing in the late 80s, the DFS, which merged DFR technology into the aging DFX design, but it was eventually rendered obsolete by advancing technology.

Other Indycar Engines

Cosworth designed a series of replacements for the DFV to be used in Indycar racing: the X-series, beginning in 1992 with the XB. The XF, developed in 2000, was chosen as the spec engine for Champ Car in 2003, and will continue in that role at least through the 2005 season.

Other Formula One Engines

The DFV replacemnt, the HB V8 was introduced with the Benetton team in 1990, and was used in Formula One until 1995. The HB's most successful season was in 1994, when Michael Schumacher won the Drivers World Championship with Benetton-Ford

Cosworth also developed a 72° F1 V10 for the Sauber Formula 1 team. It was even rumored in the late 1990s that a manufacturer (Volvo Cars was the prime candidate) intended to use a road-going version of this engine in a production car, although this never came to pass.

Cosworth has made subesquently several V10 engines for a number of Formula One teams. The Stewart Grand Prix team used Ford Cosworth engines from its first season in 1997. Over the years 1997-1999 Ford had increased its involvement with the Stewart team, and finally bought the team, renaming it the Jaguar Formula One team for 2000. Jaguar pulled out of F1 at the end of 2004, but the team (renamed Red Bull Racing) continued to use Cosworth engines. The Minardi Formula One team also use Cosworth engines.

In late 2005, it was announced that Williams will use Cosworth V8 engines for 2006 and onwards.

Road cars

Cosworth has developed engines to be used in various production cars, including several from General Motors: the Chevrolet Vega, the Opel Ascona 400 & Manta 400, Opel Kadett GSi, Opel Astra GSi, Opel Vectra turbo, Opel Calibra turbo and the Opel/Vauxhall Calibra V6. Mercedes-Benz (190 16V), Rolls-Royce, ARO and Audi also benefitted from Cosworth engine technology.


The Cosworth F1 car

Cosworth made an attempt at designing a full GP car in 1969. The car designed by Robin Herd used an original 4WD transmission (different from the Ferguson used by all other 4WD cars of the sixties) and powered by a magnesium version of the DFV unit. The car was planned to drive at the 1969 British GP but it was silently withdrawn. When Herd left to form March Engineering the project was cancelled. The car is remembered by some as one of the ugliest F1 cars ever built.

External links

es:Cosworth it:Cosworth ja:コスワース pl:Cosworth sv:Cosworth ja:フォード・コスワース・DFVエンジン