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Comparing the Sounds of New Formula 1 Engines from 2014

Scott MitchellContributor IOctober 12, 2016

Comparing the Sounds of New Formula 1 Engines from 2014

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    At the end of last week, Honda became the latest Formula One engine manufacturer to release a taster of what its V6 engine will sound like.

    The Japanese company will power McLaren (and possibly other teams) from 2015 onwards.

    It joins existing suppliers Renault and Mercedes in sampling the sounds that the new-for-2014, turbocharged powerplants will make.

    If you have not yet heard the sounds, look no further: Here are all three in one handy place plus a look at whether or not we can expect anything from Ferrari anytime soon...

Renault Gives Us a Hint

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    Renault does not mess around.

    That goes for its engine manufacturing, vehicle production (I know, I own a Clio!) and social media skills.

    So it was not surprise to hear (literally) that Renault had released the sound of its new V6 engine way back in June of this year. 

    It was also not a surprise for it to be rather theatrical in how they did it. The above...short film, let's call it, hardly gives a massive insight into what we can expect from its sound.

    Fortunately, they also released a short audio clip too.

    It sounds powerful when accelerating, which is important, but it's not got an impressive noise at top end. It sounds dull, there is no roar. Certainly, this engine isn't screaming like we've heard before, although the V8s were also quite guilty of that too. 

    Perhaps in reality, with air noise and the genuine strain of moving a 700kg object, that will be improved.

A Lap with Mercedes

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    Now, that's more like it.

    No 16-second clip from Merecedes, just a full lap of Monza. So this will be the engines running at full tilt (omitting of course the fact that this is a simulation and not taking into account real life factors).

    The YouTube page suggests whacking this on full volume and calls it "beautiful."

    You might disagree, but this does not sound awful by any means. There's a low growl on downshift and at low speeds, like a giant waking up (for want of a better cliche), but again it's got more of a whine than a scream at at the end of the main straight.

    This is a better look at what we can expect from next year, and it's not as bad as you'd fear.

    It's definitely animated and exciting on the initial upshifts and as it climbs through the rev range, but the problem is definitely when it peters out from fifth to seventh gear. It's just rather dull until it nears the limiter.

Honda Joins in

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    Honda's effort is much tougher to read.

    A decent clip, rather than a simulation, gives you audio from a variety of engine "states," or rather varies throughout the rev range. 

    It's not terrible. It seems to have a much lower tone at tickover and has more of a rumble at low speed, and early acceleration.

    But it's not a nice sound at top speed. An over-exaggerated strimmer? That might be a bit harsh, but there's a lot of "electric whir" about the Honda V6.

    We don't doubt that McLaren will not care as long as it's quick.

What About Ferrari?

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    There has been nothing from Ferrari just yet, which is a shame.

    The Scuderia takes great pride in everything it does so we're not likely to see something unless it's a very, very good replica of the real thing.

    That could be construed as good or bad. After all, a lot of people are banking on some of these audio projections to be well off the end product that powers a massive weight around the track in the wind, rain etc. 

    Perhaps the Maranello squad is waiting to avoid giving any hints to its rivals. Perhaps it was hoping to pick up one or two things. 

    Either way, we've not even seen computerised images (or any images) of the new Ferrari V6 turbo. That's not to suggest there's a development problem, because it was common knowledge that Ferrari had committed to the new engine early and had it on the dyno bed by August of last year.

    So, while we await the current Ferrari V6 sound...here's a blast from the past!

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